Celtics drop opener in Toronto, 93-87

Celtics drop opener in Toronto, 93-87
October 30, 2013, 10:00 pm
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TORONTO — The Brad Stevens era didn't get off to the best of starts with the Celtics losing their season opener 93-87 to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

This marks the third year in a row that Boston has opened the season with a loss.

Boston rallied from 16 points down in the third quarter to tie the score and eventually take the lead early in the fourth, but a missed layup by Courtney Lee and subsequent turnover seemed to be just what the Raptors needed to get going.

At the time of Lee's missed shot, the Celtics trailed, 79-78.

Still, after his miscue, the Raptors came to life with an 11-2 run that proved to be too much for the scrappy Celtics to overcome.

Boston's Jeff Green had a game-high 25 points, most of which came in the Celtics' near-comeback in the second half.

The Celtics got solid performances from Brandon Bass (17 points) and rookie Vitor Faverani (13 points, three blocked shots) as well.

Toronto was led by Rudy Gay's 19 points, while Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan each had 13 points.

The Celtics don't want to get too caught in playing the "moral victory" game, but there was some positives for them to take out of their loss.

Here we break down The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:

Jeff Green wasn't dominant the entire game, but he spent a good chunk of the game showcasing the kind of inside-out game that the Celtics will need from him this season.

"I thought he was pretty aggressive," said coach Brad Stevens. "I thought he was pretty good."

Green had a game-high 25 points to go with five rebounds. Even more important, he went to the free throw line nine times which speaks to his aggression.

"Just attack; that's my mindset every time I touch the ball," Green said. "If the 3s there, take it. If the jump-shot is there, take it. My mindset is just get to the rim."

Vitor Faverani and Brandon Bass combined for 30 points, and Kris Humphries gave the Celtics a nice lift off the bench with eight points and nine rebounds.

"We got a lot of different guys on certain nights that are really good," Stevens said. "Hopefully we can establish a consistency about us."

Boston turned the ball over 22 times, which led to 20 points for the Raptors. While Toronto's defense certainly played a role in the miscues, many of those mistakes were self-inflicted wounds.

"We had some sloppy moments," Stevens said. "But a lot of them were out of effort. We're flying down the court at a speed two levels too fast. And we made a few errors. But you can live with errors like that. You can live with errors when you're playing hard."

It looked as though it would be a problem in the preseason, and it certainly proved to be a major factor in the loss.

Toronto outrebounded Boston 48-33 which included a 19-7 advantage on the offensive boards.

All those second and third-shot opportunities for Toronto created a 28-12 scoring edge in second-chance points.

"That's the key to the game," Stevens said. "Some of that has to do with size. I think a lot of it had to do with quickness to the ball, quickness in getting inside the defense. We have to do a better job of containing the ball."