Raptors 86, Celtics 74

Celtics coach Doc Rivers called his team’s play ”awful” after

Thursday’s overtime loss to the Lakers. Friday’s loss at Toronto

kept his mood dismal.

DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points, Jose Calderon had 17 points and

14 rebounds and the Raptors led wire-to-wire in beating Boston

86-74, just their third win in the past 20 meetings with the


”I was really frustrated with our execution,” Rivers said.

”We couldn’t even run a play out of a timeout. That’s just

frustrating. That’s focus or something. We have to fix that,

because we’ve been playing too well for this to go back down that

road again.

”We’d kind of worked out all our kinks and then, all of a

sudden the last couple of games, it’s returned out of


Rivers, who lambasted his players during one first quarter

timeout, huddled with his staff outside the locker room for several

minutes after the game.

Asked whether Sunday’s home game against league-leading Chicago

could be the tonic to get his team back on track, Rivers didn’t

think so.

”The way we played the last two games, we need to be in a gym

running,” Rivers said.

The Celtics scored 75 or fewer points for just the third time in

franchise history and the first time since Jan. 12, 2001, when they

had 72.

Amir Johnson had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Aaron Gray

matched a season high with 11 rebounds as the Raptors avenged a

100-64 loss at Boston on Feb. 1, their worst defeat of the season.

James Johnson scored 14 for Toronto.

”We knew they had a back-to-back with the Lakers,” Amir

Johnson said. ”Our strategy was just to come in and hit them in

the mouth.”

The Raptors, who snapped a three-game losing streak, had lost

five of six coming in. They were treated to a rare standing ovation

from the crowd of 19,207 in the final minute.

”I don’t even remember the last time we beat Boston,” Calderon

said. ”They’re always beating on us.”

Kevin Garnett scored 17 points, Paul Pierce had 12 and Brandon

Bass had 10 for the Celtics, who were without center Jermaine

O’Neal because he had a sore left shoulder.

Ray Allen scored just six points and Rajon Rondo had only five.

The pair combined to shoot 5-for-18.

”You can’t take anything positive away from this game,” Rondo

said. ”You’ve just got to move on.”

The Celtics, who had won nine of ten before Thursday’s defeat,

dropped back-to-back games for the first time since a five-game

skid from Jan. 6-16.

”We just didn’t show the mental toughness tonight,” Pierce

said. ”We feel like we’re getting so close to being the team we

want to be and the to take a couple of steps back is definitely

frustrating. These are games we’re supposed to win.”

Trailing 63-51, to begin the fourth, the Celtics were unable to

mount a serious comeback. Allen’s jumper cut it to 77-69 with 3:35

left, but Linas Kleiza answered with a 3-pointer. And after Garnett

made one of two from the line to trim the deficit to 81-72 with two

minutes left, Calderon hit a step-back 3 to push the lead back to


”By the time the fourth quarter came they made shots and we

couldn’t stop them,” Allen said.

Toronto started strong, using a pair of running dunks by James

Johnson and Calderon’s alley-oop pass to DeRozan to open an 18-7

lead with 4:30 left in the opening quarter. DeRozan had nine points

in the first, Calderon and Johnson had eight each as Toronto led

26-14 after one.

Boston made six turnovers in the first, but also had Rivers

fuming after failing to inbound the ball on one possession, forcing

a timeout. Rivers yelled angrily at his team in the huddle before

stomping back to the bench to let the players sort themselves


”In a way, (Thursday) night’s loss kind of lingered on to this

loss today,” Rondo said. ”It’s a different story if we won.”

The Celtics closed the gap in the second, when Toronto made just

four of 15 field goal attempts, but still trailed 41-34 at the

break. Allen and Rondo combined for only two points in the first

half, missing seven of eight shots.

The Raptors pulled away again in the third with DeRozan feeding

Amir Johnson for an alley-oop to make it 61-45 with 3:52 left,

matching their biggest lead of the game. Boston trailed 63-51

heading into the fourth.

NOTES: DeRozan has scored 20 or more in three of his past four

games. … The loss snapped Boston’s season-high three-game road

winning streak. … Celtics G Avery Bradley (right shoulder) and F

Sasha Pavlovic (left wrist) sat out for the second straight game.

… The Raptors are 7-2 this season when leading at the half. …

Toronto G Jerryd Bayless was unavailable after leaving Wednesday’s

loss to Milwaukee with a sore left ankle.