The Boston Celtics made a season-high 17 3-pointers in Friday night’s matchup against the Toronto Raptors, but the C’s poor second half on offense cost them.
After a hot start, the Celtics shot only 28 percent in the second half en route to a 101-94 loss. Kyle Lowry provided a game-high 34 points, while DeMar DeRozan scored 24 of his own. Isaiah Thomas’ absence was costly for Boston, as no Celtic eclipsed the 20-point threshold.
With the loss, the Celtics dropped to 13-10 on the season, while Toronto improved to 16-7 and currently are just one game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Here’s how it all went down.
PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Al Horford
BALANCED FIRST HALF
The Celtics took a 50-42 lead into the half. The team had a balanced offensive attack as no player attempted more than six shots. Nearly all the Celtics’ first-half offense came from the field, as the team only attempted three free throws, but managed to sink 9 of 19 3-point attempts. Despite the Celtics going on an 11-0 run in the second quarter, the Raptors managed to keep it within striking distance behind Lowry’s 13 points. Bradley matched Lowry’s first-half performance with 13 points of his own.
SLOPPY THIRD QUARTER
The third quarter was all Raptors. A plethora of turnovers and poor shot selection from the Celtics allowed Toronto to go on a 21-3 run to take the lead halfway through the third quarter. Lowry carried over his hot shooting from the first half by posting 14 points in the third. The Raptors went into the fourth with a 75-68 lead after a 33-point third-quarter performance, while holding the Celtics to only 18.
LOWRY FINISHES BIG NIGHT
Toronto stretched its lead to as large as 11 halfway through the fourth quarter. After a Smart 3-pointer, the C’s cut Toronto’s lead to four with just over a minute remaining. On Toronto’s next possession, Lowry caught Horford on a pump fake from behind the arc. He sunk all three free throws to effectively put the game out of reach.
Both teams were without starters. Thomas missed his second consecutive game with a groin injury, while DeMarre Carroll was absent on scheduled rest.
PLAY OF THE GAME
It just was Lowry’s night.
The Celtics will hit the road to face Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images