The Celtics are coming off likely their worst loss of the season — a 26-point defeat at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats. Coming off a back-to-back, don’t expect Wednesday’s matchup with the upstart Raptors to be any easier. Toronto has been playing solid ball of late, leading the Lakers and Warriors in the fourth quarter on their most recent road trip before losing late. Paul Pierce will return to the lineup for the Celtics as they attempt to capitalize on a two-game home stretch against the Raptors and Bobcats before the blazing Miami Heat come to Boston on Monday.
BOSTON CELTICS (34-29)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Courtney Lee
SF Paul Pierce
PF Brandon Bass
C Kevin Garnett
TORONTO RAPTORS (25-39)
PG Kyle Lowry
SG DeMar DeRozan
SF Rudy Gay
PF Amir Johnson
C Jonas Valanciunas
Officials: Michael Smith, Ken Mauer, Marat Kogut.
TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, WEEI (93.7 FM).
• After testing his back before the game, Gay said he was OK to play. Gay is averaging 19.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 16 games with Toronto. Gay has missed two games with back issues since joining the Raptors.
• With Pierce back in the lineup, the Celtics went back to their normal starting lineup. The club will take Thursday off (customary after a back-to-back) and return to practice Friday in preparation for a rare Saturday night home game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
• Doc Rivers opened his pregame media session with a “Say it ain’t so, Wes” in reference to Wes Welker leaving the Patriots and signing a two-year deal with the Denver Broncos.
• The Raptors are 21-20 in their last 41 games and 9-9 since acquiring Gay.
• Former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani will miss the rest of the season with a sprained right elbow. Bargnani played in just 35 games this season and was on the trade block for most of the first half of the season.