The Boston Celtics hadn’t been doing a whole lot of losing before their current skid. So after the Celtics dropped their fourth consecutive game Friday, you wouldn’t be surprised if frustrations started boiling over.
That’s exactly what happened in the wake of Boston’s 105-91 loss to the Toronto Raptors. The Celtics’ struggles stemmed in part from foul issues, as they took just 12 free throw attempts while allowing the Raptors to go 18 for 25 from the line. Players usually try to refrain from bashing the officiating, but a frustrated Isaiah Thomas couldn’t help himself.
“I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to get fined, but referees have to be held accountable too, as players are,” Thomas said, via MassLive.com’s Jay King. “… It’s frustrating not getting the same calls as the other team, and we’re one of the top teams in the NBA, as well.”
Thomas has said several times he believes the rest of the league still doesn’t respect him or his teammates. But the 5-foot-9 point guard, who picked up a technical foul late in the fourth quarter, had a particular problem with his interactions with the officiating crew.
“You want to talk to somebody as a man, right?” Thomas added. “And I didn’t feel like they gave us the opportunity to talk to them throughout the game. Guys were complaining, but at the same time, if I come up to you and ask you a question, I should be able to talk to you and you should be able to answer back. And we didn’t get that.”
Let’s hit a few other notes from Celtics-Raptors:
— Luis Scola really likes playing against the Celtics, particularly in the first quarter.
The 35-year-old Raptors forward scored all 17 of his points in the first nine minutes of Friday’s contest to help Toronto jump out to a huge early lead. In the teams’ last meeting, Scola had 11 of his 18 points in the first frame.
“He’s a Celtic killer,” head coach Brad Stevens said on a postgame interview aired on CSN New England.
— The one bright spot for the Celtics was a strong third quarter in which they outscored the Raptors 33-24, using three steals to tally 11 fast break points. Stevens tried to use that stretch as a positive for the club going forward.
“I just told them, ‘I’m glad we played the way we did in the third quarter. We’re a good basketball team when we play really hard together and believe in each other,'” Stevens said. “So, we’ve just got to do it. This is a tough stretch we’re in. We knew it was a tough stretch, and it continues on Sunday on the road at (Philadelphia against the 76ers). So, we’ll have to play hard to have a chance to win.”
— Less than a week ago, the Celtics were the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. After Friday’s loss, they’re now the No. 6 seed, trailing the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets by half a game and the Atlanta Hawks by one game.
— Friday marked Amir Johnson’s second trip back to Toronto since he left the Raptors to join the C’s this offseason. It appears he’s still pretty close with his former teammates.
— Kevin Durant splashed a little cold water on Celtics fans’ hopes Friday. After complimenting the fine city of Boston on Wednesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder star also praised Philadelphia before his team’s game against the 76ers and basically told everyone not too read too much into his comments.
“I love being in Philly, too,” Durant said, via NewsOK.com. “If you ask me about a city, I like being there. I’m not going to say anything bad about it. That’s how I am. I’m not going to watch what I say. Because I know how I’m saying it and my intentions in saying it.
“People are going to pick and choose what they want to write and I can’t control that. But I can control what I say. And I’m not going to hold my tongue or answer things differently or walk on egg shells because I don’t want stuff written about me. I’m just gonna be who I am. Of course people are going to say stuff. I like playing in Boston, like the city, it’s a cool city, they ran with that one. But I know how it is. It’s all good.”
— Jonas Jerebko missed his second consecutive game with a sore left ankle. Jerebko also will miss Sunday’s game against the Sixers, per the team.
Thumbnail photo via Peter Llewellyn/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) dribbles against Toronto Raptors forward Luis Scola (4) in the third quarter at Air Canada Centre. Raptors beat Celtics 105 - 91.