Momentum swings. That’s what Wednesday night’s season opener between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors was all about. Unfortunately for Boston, the most important swing of the game went in Toronto’s favor.
Boston had climbed back from a 16-point, third-quarter deficit to tie the game up at 71-71 heading into the money quarter. The teams continued to go back and forth, all the way up to 78-78, but that’s when Rudy Gay took over.
Gay led the Raptors to the Promised Land by scoring seven of the Raptors’ final 17 points. His technical free throw, following a delay-of-game penalty on the C’s, set off Toronto’s run down the stretch.
Amir Johnson added to the Raptors’ lead with a deep 3-pointer from the right wing. He contemplated that shot for several seconds before firing away and hitting it in his defender’s face. Gay then added on two points with a 17-foot jumper to put Toronto on top 84-78.
The Celtics turned to their top scorer, Jeff Green, to stop the skid. Green drilled an 18-foot jumper to get Boston’s offense back in the swing of things but it was already too late.
Toronto answered Green’s basket with six-straight points to go on top 90-80. DeMar DeRozan capped that 6-0 spurt by dropping in his final two points with a driving layup.
At that point, Boston’s deficit had grown to double-figures with 2:33 remaining. The C’s eventually cut the lead down to five but Kyle Lowry’s three free throws in the final 30 seconds iced the win for Toronto.
Key Box Score Line
Jeff Green showed us all exactly what we were looking for Wednesday night. He was not only Boston’s top scorer, but also the game’s top scorer.
Green was in attack mode all night long as he racked up 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting. That aggression led to him attempting nine free throws, seven of which dropped through the net. Green also accounted for two-thirds of Boston’s 3-pointers by shooting 2-of-3 from downtown. He also pitched in five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot.
We didn’t see this Green during the preseason. Everyone was wondering where he was. Maybe he was just waiting for the real games to show the real Jeff Green.
Box Score Nuggets
- Brandon Bass (plus-12), Kris Humphries (plus-12) and Jeff Green (plus-eight) were the only Celtics to finish with a positive plus/minus rating.
- Green led the game in scoring with 25 points.
- Tyler Hansbrough grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds off of the bench.
- Toronto outrebounded Boston 48-33.
- The Celtics committed 22 turnovers.
- Bass shot 6-of-7 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line en route to his 17 points.
- Humphries led the Celtics in rebounds with nine.
- Toronto scored 28 second-chance points to Boston's 12.
- Six Celtics committed at least two turnovers.
- Avery Bradley fouled out of the game.
- Rudy Gay scored 19 points to lead the Raptors.
- Gerald Wallace grabbed six steals.
- Boston scored 26 points in the first quarter and 34 points in the third quarter, but totaled just 27 in the second and fourth periods.
- No player in the game tallied a double-double.
Quote of the Night
If you look at the tough shots made in this game, certainly Jeff Green made a tough one when he dribbled left and got the pull-up, but (Rudy) Gay and (DeMar) DeRozan made a bunch of them. Brad Stevens on Toronto making tough shots