Talking Points: Raptors 86, Celtics 74


Talking Points: Raptors 86, Celtics 74

TORONTO There was no mistaking Thursday night's overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was both physically and emotionally draining on the Boston Celtics.

Having another game on the road less than 24 hours later doesn't afford much in terms of recovery time.

The Celtics can attest to that, losing 86-74 to the lowly Raptors (9-19). Jose Calderon had a team-high 17 points and 14 assists. The Celtics (14-12) were led by Kevin Garnett's 17 points and eight rebounds.

Boston's last gasp at a comeback all but ended when Calderon nailed a 3-pointer with 1:38 to play to put the Raptors ahead by 12, and essentially seal Toronto's win.

Boston's starters were, in a word, horrible.

They couldn't make shots.

They couldn't defend.

They couldn't rebound.

It was the kind of showing that harkened back memories of the pre-Big Three era when victories were few and far between.

Boston trailed by as many as 16 points in the first quarter.

It could have been a lot worse if not for Avery Bradley, who was not supposed to play because of a sore right shoulder.

Although he only had three points, Bradley's on-the-ball pressure and even more important, his presence, was instrumental in the C's trailing by just seven (41-34) at the half. His plusminus ratio at the half was plus-seven, better than any other Celtic player.

Bradley didn't play a single minute in the second half, and the energy surge he brought was clearly absent as the C's found themselves in a 12-point deficit going into the fourth quarter.

Boston was a desperate team at both ends of the floor, even using some zone defense - actually, quite a bit of zone defense in the fourth quarter.

It seemed to work on all the Raptors except one - Linas Kleiza. He came off the bench to score nine points - all in the fourth, and all against Boston's porous zone defense.