Celtics get absolutely dominated by the Raptors in Toronto, 111-91
The Boston Celtics got smoked by the Raptors on a Tuesday night up in Toronto, 111-91. The C's couldn't shoot and came with an overall lackluster effort for a game against their biggest competition for the 1-seed in the East. The Raptors came to play, and they showcased just how deep a team they are with a huge performance from their bench.
Kyrie Irving returned to the lineup for the C's, finishing with 17 points on 60 percent shooting. Terry Rozier continued to play well, now off the bench, as he chipped in team high 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Al Horford had one of his worst perfomances of the season as he had more turnovers (4) than he did points (2).
The Raptors got a well balanced attack from their team, with five players scoring in double figures. Kyle Lowry scored 23 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and finished with 4 assists to lead his team. His running mate DeMar DeRozan scored 15 and CJ Miles accounted for 20 of the 56 points that came from the Raptors bench.
Lowry came out guns blazing to put the Raptors up early. He hit three of his four attempts from deep in the 1st quarter:
Toronto finished the 1st up 24-18, and they extended that lead to 18 midway through the 2nd. They did this, despite their star DeRozan not even scoring a point at the time.
It was the Raptors bench that dominated in the 1st half, scoring 30 points, and along with Lowry's solid start they had themselves a 21-point lead at the break.
For the Celtics, Rozier stayed hot as he led his team with 11 points off the bench in the 1st half, including going a perfect 3 for 3 from the outside. Irving chipped in 10 and 3 dimes but the Celtics as team shot a meager 39.5% from the field before halftime, the biggest reason for the massive hole they dug themselves.
Ugly first half for Celtics offense:
40 percent shooting
Zero offensive rebounds
Two free throw attempts
Things got worse to start the 2nd half. Aron Baynes took a hard elbow to the head just minutes in, which removed from the game and sent him to the C's locker room for examination (he did return later in the game). Derozan got going and Lowry stayed hot as they kept the Raptors way out front. The Celtics still couldn't buy a bucket, and they found themselves trailing by 23 at the end of the 3rd.
The lead proved too much for the Celtics to overcome, and both teams went to their deep benches for the bulk of the 4th.
This game marked the start of a tough 4-game stretch for the C's, and also the first of three remaining matchups with the Raptors, whom sit neck-and-neck with them atop the Eastern Conference standings.