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Toronto Raptors pay tribute to Boston Marathon victims in first Celtics game since tragedy (Video)

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

The sports world has found several ways to pay tribute to the victims of the tragic explosions at Monday's Boston Marathon. On Tuesday, the normally Boston-averse New York Yankees honored the entire city by playing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," the rival Red Sox's adopted anthem. On Wednesday, in the Boston Bruins' first game since the attacks, the entire home crowd joined in on the national anthem for what will likely go down as one of the most positive and memorable reactions to these horrific events.

Due to the cancellation of Tuesday's home game against the Indiana Pacers, the NBA's Boston Celtics will not play a game at the TD Garden until next week in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the New York Knicks. Yet, for Wednesday night's regular season finale, their opponents ensured that the occasion would not go unnoticed. Before tipoff at the Air Canada Centre, the Toronto Raptors and their fans observed a moment of silence and gave their support for the city with the slogan "Tonight, we are all Boston fans." Then, as the Celtics starting lineup was introduced, they played "Sweet Caroline" as a small attempt to help the visitors feel at home.

You can watch a video of the ceremony above (via Beyond the Buzzer). After the jump, see how the Celtics are honoring the victims of the bombings for Wednesday's game.

[Watch: Powerful national anthem rings through TD Garden]

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The Celtics have added a black band to their uniforms for Wednesday's game (via @Celtics).

The black band is a small gesture, but it speaks to the connection the Celtics feel to the city. On Tuesday, head coach Doc Rivers spoke about how Monday affected his view of Boston. From Baxter Holmes for the Boston Globe:

"Being in the city, the one thing I will say, you’re just really proud to be part of Boston," he said. "I saw people who didn’t work for the police or anything like that, directing traffic, showing people where to go.

"I just thought the spirit of Boston was phenomenal last night. In a tragic event, it either separates you or brings you together. It clearly brought the city of Boston together, which was awesome.

"The city has responded. The city, it was awesome, watching people help people. I’m driving and I can see people helping people walk, helping go to the right places. This city has an amazing amount of spirit and I think that showed last night. And today still.

"Then you’re angry, too. I think that starts now. You really are. When you keep thinking about it. It does make you very angry at what happened. And that’s because you love the city, and love where you’re at. So that bothers you."

It's not yet clear if the Celtics will continue to wear the black bands for the duration of the season, but it's fairly obvious that the explosions will be on their minds for some time. Hopefully they can bring Boston some joy and pride in the coming weeks.

For more updates on the Boston Marathon bombings, please visit Yahoo! News.

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