Posted on February 27, 2019, by Travis Pulver
The Boston Celtics had hoped they could get it together Tuesday night and do something they hadn’t done in years—beat the Raptors in Toronto. They had lost he last seven times they had been to Toronto and didn’t want to make it eight in a row.
However, for all the Celtics’ efforts, the Raptors had a different outcome in mind.
The game started off well enough for the Celtics. Boston got off to a strong start in the first quarter and led by two, 32-30, heading into the second. But that was where things went wrong.
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An 18-2 run to start the quarter put the Raptors up 48-34. Neither the Boston offense or defense managed to do much for the rest of the quarter while the Raptors ran up the score. At the break, Toronto was up by 21 points, 66-45.
The second half wasn’t any better for the Celtics. They managed to get within 16 early in the third, but when the quarter came to an end, Toronto led by 27 points, 95-68. Boston managed to close the gap a little in the fourth but never really threatened to overtake the lead.
Toronto went on to win, 118-95.
Pascal Siakim led the way for the Raptors with 25 points and eight rebounds followed by Kawhi Leonard with 21 points and six rebounds. Norman Powell led the way off the bench with 11.
“We locked in a little more,” Siakam said after the game (ESPN). “We got some stops. Obviously, when we get stops we’re dangerous in transition.”
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens got right to the point when taling about his team’s issues after the game:
“We have to be a lot more connected as a team. That’s been the theme for a while.”
Marcus Morris led the way for the Celtics with 17 points followed by Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier with 11. Kyrie Irving shot a dismal 3-10 from the field and scored just seven points.
Marcus Smart seemed to agree with Stevens assessment of the team with his comments after the game:
“Nobody is together. We’ve got to have everybody on the same page doing the same things at the same time.”
However, Kyrie Irving seemed less inclined to agree. He acknowledged Smart’s opinion and Stevens’ assessment in his brief comments without offering an opinion of his own.
With the win, Toronto improved to 45-17 on the season and are now two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will get a few days off before playing again. Portland comes to town for a visit on Friday.
Boston saw their record drop to 37-24 with the loss. They are now a couple of games behind the 76ers for the No. 4 seed but have a sizable lead over the Nets (5.5 games). They will get a chance to face the Trail Blazers first, though. They head back home to Boston to take on Portland Wednesday night.