Celtics improve to 10-0 at home behind Garnett's 23

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics are tearing apart teams at home like the days when Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish roamed the fabled parquet.

Kevin Garnett scored 23 points and the Celtics improved to 10-0 at home with a 112-84 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

Paul Pierce had 18 points and Ray Allen 13 for Boston (16-2), which is off to the NBA's best start and its best home mark since opening the 1984-85 season 12-0.

In that season, the Celtics went 35-6 at the old Boston Garden during the regular season before eventually losing the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games while attempting to win consecutive titles.

"Historically, it's cool," Garnett said. "It's good, but the focus here is to be consistent and build towards something -- postseason basketball."

The Celtics broke it open early. Boston has won all but one of its home games by double digits so far -- eight by 20 points or more.

None of the Celtics' starters played the final quarter or saw 30 minutes of action.

Anthony Parker led the injury-riddled Raptors with 13 points. T.J. Ford, Joey Graham and Juan Dixon had 12 apiece.

With the Raptors missing Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani, two of their better inside players, the Celtics were able to work the ball down low easily and pull away in the second quarter.

Before the game, coach Doc Rivers put a simple message on the board, reminding his team about the Raptors' weakness in low post players.

"I think the main emphasis was to get the ball inside," Pierce said. "Doc had it on the board: 'Just pound the ball inside, just pound the ball inside.' We knew we had our advantages there especially with Kevin and myself."

The Celtics made 9 of 15 shots in the second quarter and hit 15 of 17 free throws. Allen scored nine points during an 11-2 run midway into the quarter that pushed Boston's advantage to 49-28.

The Celtics led 62-40 at halftime and, with Garnett scoring the first six of the second half, they pushed it to 70-40 on Rajon Rondo's fast-break layup 2:06 into the third. They led 91-55 after three.

The Raptors entered the game as the league's best 3-point shooting team at 44 percent, but went just 6 for 17 from beyond the arc.

"They just drilled us," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "Got guys injured. Got guys in and out of the lineup. It's just tough."

Brian Scalabrine nailed a 3-pointer midway into the fourth that made it 99-62 and prompted the sellout crowd of 18,624 to chant his last name.

Game notes
Neither Bosh (strained right groin) nor Bargnani (hyperextended left knee) were with the team. ... Mitchell played with Garnett for seven years in Minnesota and remembered his work ethic fondly. "Kevin wanted to win every practice, every shooting contest, everything," he said before the game. "Kevin wanted to score 50 on me in practice., but it made me better." ... Toronto scored a season-high 123 points in its previous game, a loss at home against Phoenix on Wednesday. ... Allen hit a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in OT to give Boston a 98-95 win in the teams' last meeting on Nov. 4. ... The Celtics are in Chicago on Saturday night. They have lost their last eight games against the Bulls.