BOSTON – The halftime scoreboard showed the Boston Celtics were equal to the Toronto Raptors.
Fool’s gold, folks.
The final 24 minutes served as a cautionary tale as to what can happen if the Celtics aren’t at or close to playing their best basketball.
Friday’s 113-103 loss to the Raptors was a game in which the Celtics had a Jekyll-and-Hyde kind of night where they competed in the first half, and were crushed in the second.
Even though the score was tied at halftime, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens wasn’t feeling all that great about the way his team had played.
“The start of the second half they were better, they were more connected,” Stevens said.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Friday night’s game.
He didn’t lead Toronto in scoring, but Ross’ play ended any hopes the Celtics had of rallying for a comeback win. He finished with 21 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter on 6-for-7 shooting.
He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but DeRozan is one of those players who is always probing ways to score. He led Toronto in scoring with 23 points, fueled in large part by a 12-for-14 performance from the free throw line.
There was little to no help carrying the scoring load tonight for Thomas. He finished with a game-high 25 points on 7-for-16 shooting along with seven assists and three turnovers. The three turnovers all came in the first half.
One of the NBA’s top point guards, Lowry had a solid, all-around performance with a near triple-double before finishing with 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Toronto brought him in because he has two-way talent, and that was certainly on display Friday night. He had 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting, and his defense
Boston’s perimeter defenders
There were too many holes in the Celtics defense to single out any one or two players. Boston’s defense had problems all game, but at the core of their issues was the team’s perimeter defenders. Jae Crowder. Marcus Smart. Avery Bradley.
It really didn’t matter.
All of them, as well as their backups, struggled defensively. And when you see all that went wrong for the Celtics in this game, their struggles more than any others, stood out prominently.