If Toronto’s last game was any indication, the Raptors aren’t going to be the worst offensive team in the NBA for long.
The Raptors, who entered Tuesday’s game averaging a league-low 78 points, posted a 95-88 win at Philadelphia behind newcomers Marshall and Rose.
The two players came to Toronto on Monday along with forward Lonny Baxter in the deal that sent Antonio Davis, Jerome Williams and Chris Jeffries to the Chicago Bulls. Marshall and Rose paid immediate dividends as Marshall scored a season-high 27 points and Rose added eight assists Tuesday.
The Raptors won for the third time in four games.
Vince Carter added 21 points and a career-high 12 assists as the Raptors reached 90 points for just the fourth time this season. Toronto had one of its highest shooting percentages of the season—47.2 percent—while scoring at least 20 points in each quarter for the first time.
“We have so many guys who can stroke the ball, guys who can draw double teams. We’re bound to score more points,” Carter said.
Marshall was 10-of-14 from the field and Alvin Williams was 6-of-6. Rose shot just 3-of-10, but repeatedly found open teammates while taking care of most of the point guard duties.
“You couldn’t ask those new guys to do more, and you couldn’t ask our current players to do more than they did in terms of giving them a chance to get in there and play, help, and do a lot of good things,” Toronto coach Kevin O’Neill said. “I’m happy with the way we played and I hope we can improve from here.”
The Celtics are coming off a 96-89 home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday. It was their second straight defeat and sixth in eight games overall.
Paul Pierce finished with 26 points to lead the Celtics, but fouled out with 3:38 to go. Boston trailed by nine at that point.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Pierce, who has led the Celtics in scoring in 12 of their 17 games this season. “Too many times we get stagnant on offense, a lot of guys depend on me to make a play every time down the court and it puts a lot of pressure on me.
“I don’t think we understand how to play without me,” he added. “I think that’s going to be a key for us all year. The good teams understand how to play without their star player in the game.”