The short-handed Toronto Raptors had their point guard bloodied and their interior defense soundly beaten their last time out.
One can only imagine a motivated Rajon Rondo's eagerness, then, as he leads the resurgent Boston Celtics into Air Canada Centre for Friday night's game.
Rondo is playing the best basketball of his career as the Celtics (34-24) try to win their fifth consecutive Atlantic Division title and overtake the Indiana Pacers for third in the Eastern Conference. The point guard reached double figures in assists for the 19th straight game - matching a season high with 20 - and recorded his NBA-leading sixth triple-double of the season Wednesday when Boston won 88-86 over Atlanta in overtime.
That came one night after a big win at Miami.
"We kept fighting regardless of the other stuff out there. We stuck together, followed through and got the win,'' Rondo said after Boston's fourth straight victory and 19th in 26 games kept it two games behind Indiana.