Celtics' dream of an undefeated preseason ends with 116-109 loss to the Raptors
The Celtics' dreams of an undefeated preseason (ok, maybe these dreams didn't exist) went up in smoke on Friday night in Toronto, as the Celts lost 116-109 to the Raptors. Boston was led by Avery Bradley (22 points in 21 minutes), Marcus Thornton (19 points), and Jared Sullinger (10 points, 8 boards and 7 assists). Toronto was led by their backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry (18 points apiece).
The Celtics once again went with Marcus Smart, Bradley, Evan Turner, Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk as the starters, meaning Turner -- who is 25 -- was the oldest starter for the Cs.
In the first half, there were two story lines: Bradley's offensive dominance, and some truly awful defense by the Celtics.
Bradley was brilliant, scoring 20 points in the first half on 8-13 shooting, including 4-4 shooting from three. As a team, the Celtics went 8-12 from three in the 1st half, allowing them to score 56 points in the first 24 minutes.
However, the defense was as bad as the offense was good. The Raptors scored 60 points in the first two quarters, 21 of which were off threes (7-11 shooting), and 20 of which were in the paint. Toronto beat the Celtics up on the glass in the first half (I feel like we've been writing this for 200 straight years), out rebounding the Cs 24-14.
The Celtics were borderline unstoppable in the third quarter, outscoring the Raptors 37-27, while continuing to stay red hot from three-point range (5-7). The Cs also continued to show great ball movement in this pre-season, as an amazing 25 of their first 29 field goals were assisted on.
However, the goodwill the Celtics built up in the first three quarters was erased in an ugly fourth quarter that saw them outscored 29-16. The Cs stopped scoring and watched the Raptors go on a 22-5 run to go up by double digits.
For those of us who watched the Celtics blow eleven double-digit leads last season, this game provided the type of deja vu that nobody really wants to feel. Thankfully, the games don't count yet. And it also should be noted that the Cs remain without both Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, plus rookie James Young, who is currently recovering from a hamstring injury.
The Celtics are back at it tomorrow night against the Knicks in Connecticut.
Note: Bradley ended up leaving the game with an ankle injury. However, it was called "precautionary" by CSNNE's Abby Chin.