Ray Allen and Marquis Daniels put forth impressive efforts, scoring 12 and 11 points respectively as the Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors, 76-75, in the preseason opener for both teams on Sunday afternoon in Toronto, Ontario.
"He's just aggressive," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said about Daniels, who also had three assists and two rebounds in 27minutes. "Not hesitant, going to the basket. He's not worrying about anything anymore. He's playing free basketball."
Boston (1-0) made 28-of-71 field goals and 17-of-23 free throws while holding Toronto (0-1) to 28-of-73 shooting from the floor and 7-of-19 shooting from long range. Toronto controlled the boards, holding a 39-35 advantage in rebounding, and also held a 19-18 advantage in assists over Boston.
Kevin Garnett finished with nine points and seven rebounds, Brandon Bass scored nine points and had five rebounds and Jermaine O'Neal totaled eight points and three rebounds while Chris Wilcox added seven points and five boards.
"[We want to] get more comfortable with the defensive principles and offensive schemes and also get into better shape," Bass said in a postgame interview on Comcast SportsNet New England.
Andrea Bargnani led all scorers with 16 points and had nine rebounds and both Jerryd Bayless and Ed Davis scored 10 points off the bench for the Raptors. In addition, Jose Calderon scored seven points and had six assists.
After falling behind 7-3 nearly four minutes in, the Celtics picked up the pace and grabbed a 16-10 lead following a Chris Wilcox tip in with 3:23 remaining in the first and led 18-17 after the opening quarter. A slow start in the second quarter gave way to a 17-5 run for the C's, giving them a 35-24 lead with 3:36 remaining in the first half.
Toronto wasn't able to make up any ground in the third quarter, trailing 61-51 heading into the final 12 minutes. However, the Raptors used a 12-1 run to take a 71-70 lead with 2:09 to play. Boston finished the game with a 6-4 run, capped off by a Greg Stiemsma with the game-winning tip in with 12 seconds remaining. Bargnani missed the potential game-winning jmper three feet from the hoop, giving Boston its first win of the preseason.
Boston returns home to host Toronto in the second and final preseason game Wednesday.