Keys to the Game: Raptors 113, Celtics 103
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
The Toronto Raptors caught fire at one end of the court and poured ice on the Boston Celtics at the other.
With that, this game quickly turned ugly.
Toronto, which shot only 32.5 percent from the field during the first half of Friday night’s game, barely grazed the rim during its game-changing run. The Raptors shot 9-of-13 from the field from the 8:50 mark of the third to the 3:08 mark to turn what was a two-point deficit into a 14-point lead.
Two new faces in Toronto led their team’s red-hot surge. Luis Scola, who signed with the Raptors after playing the past two seasons with Indiana, scored nine points during the run. DeMarre Carroll, who also joined Toronto during free agency when he inked a four-year deal, contributed eight points, including consecutive back-breaking 3s. Familiar faces DeMar DeRozan (four points) and Kyle Lowry (three points) rounded out the scoring during Toronto’s run.
Boston attempted to keep up, but it couldn’t get anything going against Toronto’s strong defense. The C’s shot a woeful 2-for-8 from the field during Toronto's blitz, including multiple forced shots, while committing three turnovers.
The C’s briefly threatened to overtake the Raptors by quickly cutting their deficit down to nine points on two separate occasions, but they could not get over the hump. Toronto’s hot stretch and strong defense during that five-minute spurt of the third was too much to overcome, and Boston fell 113-103.
Isaiah Thomas was yet again the best player on the floor Friday night. The problem is, he didn’t have much help.
Thomas led the game in scoring for the second time in as many contests while pouring in 25 points against Toronto. He canned seven of his 16 shots and got to the line for a team-best 11 free throw attempts that included 10 makes.
Per usual, the speedy point guard also contributed in the assist category. He handed out a team-best seven helpers during his 29 minutes of action.
The rest of the Celtics put the pressure on Thomas to carry them to a victory. No other player on the team scored more than 13 points, and all Celtics not named Thomas combined to shoot 36.2 from the field.
It’s a rare occurrence in this league that one guy can carry a team to a win. Thomas and his Boston teammates found that out the hard way Friday night.
Box Score Nuggets
- Isaiah Thomas (25 points) nearly doubled the total of the next-highest scoring total by any other Celtic (13 points by Avery Bradley).
- The teams combined to shoot 76 free throws (41 for Boston, 35 for Toronto).
- DeMar DeRozan filled the box score with 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.
- Toronto scored at least 26 points during each of the four quarters.
- The Raptors outrebounded the Celtics 53-38.
- DeRozan shot 13-of-14 from the free-throw line.
- The game featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes.
- Boston outscored Toronto 22-6 in fast break points.
- The C's shot just 37.6 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from long range.
- DeMarre Carroll and Terrence Ross each scored 21 points for the Raptors, with Ross' points coming off the bench.
- This was the second instance in as many games in which the Raptors had three 20-point scorers.
- Cory Joseph, Jared Sullinger and Jae Crowder were each whistled for technical fouls.
- Kyle Lowry, Toronto's starting point guard, led the game in blocked shots with two.
- Lowry also led the game with nine assists.
- Bradley, who made three 3-pointers, was the only Celtic who made more than one shot from long distance.
- Jonas Valanciunas grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in only 23 minutes of action.
Quote of the Night
We’re not as good as these guys right now. I thought that was pretty evident and clear to see.
Brad Stevens on how the Celtics stack up against the Raptors at the present time.