THE NITTY GRITTY
Playing under the cloak of Game 6 of the World Series back in Boston, the Celtics were expectedly inconsistent in their season-opener, mixing spurts of potential with painful stretches of miscues. Boston was generally fantastic in the odd quarters, but even-quarter struggles sank them. An aggressive Jeff Green scored a team-high 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting over 37 minutes, while Brandon Bass added 17 points on an efficient 6-of-7 shooting over 32 minutes. The Raptors put four starters in double figures, including Rudy Gay with a team-high 19 points.
The Raptors were threatening to pull away late, but a Jeff Green floater had Boston within four with four minutes to go. But Boston didn't have any more rally in them. Amir Johnson hit a turnaround jumper, Gay got a steal and hit a turnoaround fadeaway, and DeMar DeRozan added a driving bank shot as Toronto's lead ballooned to 10 with 2:34 to go, essentially sealing the win.
A CRINGE-WORTHY SECOND QUARTER
The Celtics started fast Wednesday and led by five after the first quarter, but couldn't get out of their own way in the second frame. Boston shot just 14.3 percent (2 of 14) in the frame and seven of the Celtics' 11 total points came at the free throw line. Boston also turned the ball over six times (and 11 times in the first half overall) as the Raptors opened a 12-point halftime lead (49-37).
BUT C'S ATONE IN THIRD FRAME
As bad as they were in the second quarter, Boston was equally as excellent in the third frame. Bass scored 10 points to spark the 34-point quarter which culminating with his putback slam to tie the game at 71 heading to the fourth. Boston shot 72.2 percent (13 of 18) and forced Toronto into nine turnover (for 14 points).
HUMPHRIES MAKES MOST OF OPPORTUNITY
With Jared Sullinger serving a one-game suspension and rookie Kelly Olynyk having a rough night (a team-worst minus-18 in plus/minus over 15:47; 2 points, 3 turnovers), veteran big man Kris Humphries seized the opportunity to make a statement. Despite an underwhelming preseason, Humphries finished with eight points and nine rebounds over 21 minutes against one of his former teams.
Vitor Faverani wasn't bashful in his NBA debut. The roookie center fired away early and often until foul trouble slowed him down a bit. Faverani finished with 13 points, three rebounds, and three blocks over 26:41, but he was a minus-17. ... Keith Bogans and MarShon Brooks earned DNPs. ... Gerald Wallace need 2 ½ quarters before taking his one and only shot -- a layup in transition. He had three points, four steals, three rebounds, and two assists over 39:52.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics were competitive, but couldn't find a way to rallly again late as the Raptors hung on. The Celtics return to Boston and will have a day off Thursday before hosting the Milwaukee Bucks in their home-opener on Friday night at TD Garden.
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