The second quarter of Wednesday night’s game in Toronto may have been Boston’s quarter of the preseason. The problem is that Boston's second quarter wasn’t as good as Toronto’s third quarter, which essentially won the game for the Raptors.
Toronto trailed 70-69 after Jeff Green streaked down the lane for a thunderous dunk with 4:50 remaining in the third period. That play would typically spark the Celtics, but it instead lit a fire under the opposition.
The Raptors immediately began attacking the basket at the other end while also tightening up their defense. Their aggressiveness led to seven consecutive points via the free-throw line, the first six of which were scored by Jonas Valanciunas. Terrence Ross and Dwight Buycks capped Toronto’s third-quarter scoring with a turnaround jumper and driving bank shot, respectively.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the floor, Boston could not muster up a single point. The Raptors forced the Celtics into seven consecutive misses from the field, two misses from the free-throw line, and two turnovers during the final 4:23 of the quarter.
All of these factors allowed the Raptors to string off an 11-0 run to finish the quarter and take an 80-70 lead into the final period. Although the game became competitive in the final minutes, Toronto never relinquished its lead and held on for a 99-97 victory.
Key Box Score Line
Kelly Olynyk is struggling to adjust to NBA officiating.
He’s not struggling to adjust to everything else.
The rookie out of Gonzaga was phenomenal Wednesday night in his home country of Canada. He was Boston’s best player and finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and a plus/minus rating of plus-14. Olynyk made six of his seven field goal attempts during his 26 minutes of action.
Yes, the big man did foul out of the game in the fourth quarter, but who really cares? This is the preseason, and Olynyk is still learning how to defend NBA players. What really matters is that he continues to play with great efficiency for the Celtics as they move closer and closer to the regular season.
Box Score Nuggets
- MarShon Brooks scored a preseason-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
- Toronto shot 31-of-38 from the free-throw line.
- Neither team grabbed more than 40 rebounds.
- Courtney Lee grabbed a game-high three steals and tied for the game high in assists with five.
- Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani each scored 13 points.
- Olynyk also contributed nine rebounds before fouling out of his second-consecutive game.
- Terrence Ross scored a game-high 19 points.
- Toronto's starters combined to grab only nine rebounds.
- Jonas Valanciunas led the game in plus/minus rating with a plus-18.
- Toronto scored at least 29 points in two quarters (31 in the first and 29 in the third).
- None of Boston's reserves finished with a negative plus/minus rating.
- Jeff Green played a game-high 30 minutes and 23 seconds.
Quote of the Night
I just said in the locker room, 'We've gotta become more of a 48-minute team instead of a 38-minute team.' We're pretty good for 38 minutes and we've gotta maintain that focus and level of play. Brad Stevens on his team struggling to put together a full game