In desperate need of a bounce-back victory, the Boston Celtics simply fell flat on their faces against the Toronto Raptors.
After a spirited first quarter, the Celtics were run out of the Scotiabank Arena in the second frame and ultimately fell 118-95 on Tuesday night.
Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 25 points, while Kawhi Leonard followed with 21. Marcus Morris led the Celtics with 17 points. Jayson Tatum (11), Terry Rozier (11) and Jaylen Brown (10) also finished in double digits. Kyrie Irving finished with seven points on a quiet 3-for-10 night from the floor.
With the loss, the Celtics fall to 37-24, while the Raptors move to 45-17 with the win.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
C: Al Horford
Not much separated either side in the first, which included 10 lead changes, as the Celtics took a slight 32-30 lead after 12 minutes of play.
The Celtics used a 6-0 run to head up 16-14 with 4:37 to play in the quarter. Toronto charged back to take a 20-19 lead after a Siakam 3-pointer with 3:40 to play in the quarter, one of three he hit in the opening frame.
Brown knotted the game at 24-24 with a hard-earned and-1 with 2:34 to play. Smart earned his way to the line in the closing seconds to give the Celtics a two-point lead heading into the second.
CELTICS LIMP INTO HALF
After a neck-and-neck first, the Celtics played a dreadful second quarter, allowing the Raptors to outscore them 36-13 and take a 66-45 lead into the break.
Toronto sparked a massive run to start the quarter with Irving on the bench. Back-to-back treys from Norman Powell and Marc Gasol highlighted a 13-0 run that gave the Raptors a 43-34 lead with 8:36 to play in the half. The run extended to 18-0 after a triple from Kyle Lowry and a lay-in by Patrick McCaw.
The Raptor lead extended to 59-39 with 3:06 to play in the half after a Smart turnover led to an easy transition dunk from Leonard. Siakam gave Toronto its biggest lead of the half with an and-1 to make it 66-43 in the final minute.
NO COMEBACK BREWING
Things did not get any prettier for the Celtics in the third, as they were outscored 29-23 and fell into a 95-68 deficit heading into the final quarter.
The Celtics closed the gap a bit to open the third quarter as a Smart trey made it 68-52 with 9:14 remaining in the frame. But Leonard pushed the Toronto advantage back to 20 with a runner to make 78-58 with 6:31 to go, and the rout was back on from there.
A Powell trey with 1:31 left in the third boosted the home team’s lead to 95-64, giving the Raptors their biggest lead of the night.
GETTING IT OVER WITH
With the game seemingly in hand for much of the second half, both teams rode out of the final quarter, with the Raptors sealing their dominant victory in ho-hum fashion.
The Raptors held their 20-point plus advantage for the first half of the fourth quarter.
The Celtics’ bench was unable to narrow the deficit below 22 points in the closing minutes.
PLAY OF THE GAME
A consolation, but a nice throw down by Robert Williams III.
The Celtics will return to the Boston for the second leg of a back-to-back against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Tip-off from TD Garden is slated for 8 p.m. ET.