Already depleted by injuries, the Boston Celtics still can’t catch a break.
Boston’s roster will be even thinner Friday when it hosts the Toronto Raptors.
With starters Paul Pierce (left foot), Wally Szczerbiak (ankle), Delonte West (back) and Theo Ratliff (back) not suited up, the Celtics (12-22) lost two more key players during Wednesday’s 97-84 loss to Indiana.
Third-year guard Tony Allen, who picked up his play even before Pierce was injured, left in the third quarter when he hurt his knee landing after a dunk. Allen, who is averaging 11.5 points this season and 19.0 in the 10 games Pierce has missed, was taken to a nearby hospital for an MRI.
Coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday that Allen could have an ACL tear, but did not have the MRI results.
Earlier in the game, reserve forward Brian Scalabrine left with an injured right knee and did not return. He also was sent for an MRI.
“Everybody just seems to be falling like dominoes,” said second-year forward Gerald Green, who made his fifth start of the season and scored 14 points. “We just got to stick together and keep on playing. Hopefully, we get guys back in a couple weeks.”
The Celtics, who have lost two straight and nine of 11, finished with eight players and could have that same amount Friday.
Losing Allen for an extended period could be devastating, especially with Pierce, who averages 26.6 points per game, sidelined until later this month, Szczerbiak out at least another week and Ratliff done for the season.
“Everybody sees the player that Tony is, but he’s more than that to us,” Celtics guard Sebastian Telfair said of Allen, who still led the team with 19 points Wednesday. “Going to see him down was like seeing Superman beat up. It don’t feel right.”
Boston may look to Telfair, who averages just 8.4 points a game, and Al Jefferson, who has scored below his 13.2 average in the last three games, to step up their offensive production.
Even with a mostly healthy roster, Boston lost 106-102 at Toronto on Dec. 1 in the only meeting this season.
Chris Bosh led the Raptors (16-20) in that contest with 25 points and 11 rebounds. The fourth-year forward scored 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting in a 90-77 win at Milwaukee on Wednesday, his best performance offensively in five games since missing 12 with a bruised knee.
Bosh and point guard T.J. Ford bounced back from poor games in a 101-86 loss to New Jersey on Tuesday. Bosh had 12 points—almost nine below his team-leading average (20.9)—while Ford went scoreless against the Nets.
“We carry the team,” said Ford, who had 15 points and 10 assists Wednesday. “We can’t have people shut us down.”
Bosh, who had six blocks Wednesday as Toronto matched a season low for points allowed, agreed with Ford’s assessment.
“He came to me and I came to him and we were like, ‘Look, as we go, the team goes and we have to take on that type of attitude,’” Bosh said.
“Every time I have a bad game the night before, especially on a back-to-back, I am going to try and make a statement the next night.”
The Raptors have won three of their last four games overall, but have dropped seven in a row at Boston since Nov. 29, 2002.