The Celtics fall flat in their home opener, lose 115-83 to the Raptors

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The first third quarter of the regular season at TD Garden saw boos raining down from the Boston crowd as the Toronto Raptors pulled away from the Celtics in a 115-83 blowout victory.

Coming off of am emotionally taxing double overtime loss to the Knicks, the Celtics let the game slip away from them in the second half. Jayson Tatum started strong after a poor shooting night in New York, but it was Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes who stole the show in a breakout evening for the former Florida State star.

Boston stayed even with Toronto early behind a scoring flurry from Tatum, and the Raptors carried a four point lead into the halftime break. Oftentimes in 2021 NBA blowouts, you can run to the box score and see a definitive disparity in three-point shooting. That wasn’t the case on Friday night, and that was arguably an even more worrisome sign for Boston and first-year head coach Ime Udoka. The Celtics actually shot better from three than Toronto, making 11 of their 34 tries to Toronto’s 10-35.

Instead, it was the length of Toronto defensively and the Raptors’ rebounding prowess that proved to be the difference. After being blown out by Washington in their opener, the Raptors’ young pieces came to play in game two. Precious Achiuwa led the contest with 15 rebounds to go along with his 15 points. Toronto outrebounded Boston 60 to 42 on the night and turned the Celtics over 25 times.

Toronto won the third quarter 33-17 behind lockdown team defense and a scoring surge from Gary Trent Jr., who finished with 20 points on the night. Barnes was exceptional on both ends, answering predraft questions in real time about his shooting, offensive playmaking, and on-ball decisions. He seamlessly hit mid-range jumpers, attacked the glass, and used his 6-foot-9 frame to cause problems defensively. The fourth overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft finished with a game-high 25 points, 13 rebounds, and a pair of assists.

When the third quarter buzzer sounded, the Raptors led 84-64 and had all but put the game away.

It was unsurprisingly a bounce back shooting night for Tatum, who went 8-14 from the field for a team-high 18 points. On the other side of the coin, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown combined to go just 3-19 from the field.

The Celtics fell to 0-2 on the year as Toronto evened their record up to 1-1. Boston travels to Houston on Sunday to take on the Rockets, as they look for their first win of the season.