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Rondo leads Celtics to chippy 94-75 win vs Pacers

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Rondo leads Celtics to chippy 94-75 win vs Pacers

BOSTON (AP) Kevin Garnett scored 18 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Indiana Pacers 94-75 on Friday night.

Rajon Rondo added 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston, which had lost eight of 10 to fall a season-worst three games below .500. Garnett also had seven rebounds.

Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 points and David West and Roy Hibbert had 10 rebounds apiece for the Pacers. The Central Division leaders had won six of seven and nine of 11.

The Celtics used a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take control of the game. There was plenty of intensity, though, with the Pacers drawing three technical fouls before Garnett was given a Flagrant 2 foul for flailing at Hansbrough in the fourth quarter, hitting him in the face.

Paul Pierce scored 13 for the Celtics, and rookie Jared Sullinger had seven points and 10 rebounds before fouling out for the fourth time in seven games.

The Pacers shot 31.8 percent from the field, a season low, with West and Paul George each going 4 for 18.

Indiana led 16-15 after one, with Hibbert collecting five points and six rebounds in the opening quarter. The Celtics trailed 20-19 early in the second when they scored 17 of the next 20 points to open a double-digit lead. Boston made it a 15-point game before the end of the half but led 47-35 at the break.

The Pacers cut the deficit to 10 points with the first basket of the third quarter but Boston soon went on an 11-2 run to make it a 19-point game. It was 24 in the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Indiana's Lance Stephenson was called for a technical foul for taunting after hitting a 3-pointer in the first quarter. Pierce missed the free throw. ... Pacers coach Frank Vogel was called for a technical in the second quarter and West picked one up for shoving in the third. ... Pierce converted a four-point play in the second quarter, his first since 2008, according to Celtics.com. ... The Celtics used their ninth different starting lineup this season in 32 games.

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With LeBron gone and Kawhi in, who's the best player in the East?

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With LeBron gone and Kawhi in, who's the best player in the East?

With Kawhi Leonard off to the Raptors, we have a shakeup near the top when it comes to the best players in the East.

Whether it's a one-year rental or ends up being a long-term partnership, the Raptors got themselves an MVP candidate when he's healthy.

That's the issue though. What will Leonard be when he returns to the court after that quad injury took most of last season away from him?

RANKING THE TEN BEST PLAYERS IN THE EAST

With LeBron James now in Los Angeles, the East has a new pecking order when it comes to the top talent, which includes a couple of Wizards as well.

How do they stack up?

Well, here's your answer:

RANKING THE TEN BEST PLAYERS IN THE EAST

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Spurs trading Kawhi Leonard to Raptors in deal involving DeMar DeRozan, per report

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Spurs trading Kawhi Leonard to Raptors in deal involving DeMar DeRozan, per report

The NBA offseason has been nothing short of entertaining.

Overnight ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Toronto Raptors have agreed to a deal to acquire forward Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs in a trade package that includes guard DeMar DeRozan. 

Leaving San Antonio with Leonard is Danny Green, while the Raptors are dealing DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, according to the report

As of early this morning, only DeRozan had been informed of the trade. This trade has reportedly been in talks for several weeks, almost falling through multiple times. 

According to sources of ESPN's Chris Haynes, Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto while DeRozan was told he would not be traded by members of Toronto's front office during summer league in Las Vegas. 

Leonard was open early into the offseaosn about wanting to be traded away from the Spurs and there were even talks of the Wizards being interested in him. 

DeRozan, a four-time All-Star, has three years $83 million left on his contract that includes an early-termination option for the 2020-21 season. .

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