The Celtics fall to the lowly Raptors tonight, 84-79 in Toronto. An extremely frustrating loss. The C's were up by 13 points about halfway through the 2nd after a Ryan Hollins free-throw made it 30-17. Then they virtually disappeared. They did what we've seen them do in past games like this-made a "too little, too late" run in the final minutes of the 4th. But it came up short and the C's start off their "back-to-back-to-back" with a loss.
Not exactly a pretty 1st-half (or game) for either team. The Raptors shot an absolutely putrid 23% (9 of 39) and had 0 fastbreak points. The C's started off looking pretty good on offense- mainly behind Bass and Avery Bradley. But things got ugly in the 2nd quarter. They could only muster 6 points over the last 7:37 of the 1st half. The C's also got outrebounded 28-18 overall and 9-2 on the offensive glass. The Raps got a ton of second-chance points and were only down 36-30 going into halftime. I was not impressed.
The C's continued to get out rebounded and out hustled in the 2nd half as well. The Raps fans eventually got into the game, and the Raps snatched up an opportunity to beat an upper-echelon team. The C's lost the battle of the boards, 50 to 37, and were a terrible 4 of 19 from downtown. They very rarely took the ball in the paint and were not aggressive in transition. Rondo, as Mike Gorman put-it was "in passing-mode." KG finally cooled-off-Big Ticket was 5 of 16 from the floor and was double and even tripled-teamed at times by Dwayne Casey's defense. Paul Pierce barely eclipsed Lina Kleiza's 17 to lead all scorers with 18.
What frustrates me most about a loss like this? The other teams in the playoff/seeding hunt in our conference took care of business tonight; Indy destroyed the Cavs and the Hawks beat-up on Orlando. I guess in the "grand scheme" of things this game doesn't mean much, but it's still embarrassing and hard as a fan to justify an effort like this one. C's now head to Jersey to face a Nets team that has won 3 of their last 4 and went into Philly and beat a struggling, but good Sixers team. If you're interested in stats and such from tonight, you'll find them below.