Celtics can’t get the job done north of the border
On Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics dropped their second game in a row as their record fell to 22-21 with a loss to the Toronto Raptors, 115-109, at the Air Canada Centre.
The Celtics started the game off with 27 points in the first quarter as they shot a below average 45.7% from the field. On the defensive end they failed to hold the Raptors as they allowed the Raptors to score 34 points on 65.2% shooting from the field and 42.9% from behind the arc.
In the second quarter the Celtics woke up on offense as they scored 35 points and shot 70.0% from the field and 71.4% from the three point line. The Celtics also turned it around on the defensive side of the ball as they held the Raptors to 21 points in the quarter on 42.1% shooting from the field. Kelly Olynyk and Jonas Jerebko combined for 16 points on 6-7 shooting in the quarter.
In the second half the Celtics seemed to revert back to their first quarter play as they were outscored 40-28. The Celtics were unable to find an answer for DeMar DeRozan as he scored 18 points on 7-10 shooting in the third quarter. The Celtics were unable to maintain their outstanding shooting from the second quarter as their shooting percentage dropped down to 47.4% from the field.
As the Raptors offense slowed down in the fourth quarter, the Celtics were unable to capitalize as their shooting troubles worsened. The Celtics shot a poorest 40.9% from the field and a horrid 14.3% from the three and were only able to score 19 points in the quarter. The Raptors shot an even worse 36.8% from the field but a slightly better 20.0% from three resulting in a 19 point fourth quarter of their own.
The Celtics loss to the Raptors was mostly accredited to DeMar DeRozan who, along with his 18 point third quarter, scored 34 points and dished out 6 assists. DeMar DeRozan seemed to be unstoppable during the game and even when the Celtics tried fouling him he was still able to get to get a shot up and in.
The Celtics have had a season long trend of poor shooting first quarters, whether it is because they are still warming up or just good defense by opposing teams. They must address this problem if they want to win more games.
DeMar DeRozan lead all players with a game high 34 points. Jonas Valanclunas recorded a double-double as he grabbed a game high 12 rebounds and scored 19 points on a perfect 9-9 shooting performance. Isaiah Thomas recorded a double-double of his own as he scored 21 points and dished out a game high 10 assists. Kyle Lowry lead the game with 3 steals.
The Celtics next game will be Friday night as they look to end their losing streak as they take on Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls at the TD Garden.