TORONTO (AP) — A lack of togetherness is turning into big trouble for the struggling Celtics.
“I thought we were outplayed in every which way,” coach Brad Stevens said.
Pascal Siakam scored 25 points, Kawhi Leonard had 21, and the Toronto Raptors used a huge second quarter to rout Boston 118-95 on Tuesday night.
The Celtics led 32-30 after one quarter and scored the opening points of the second, but the Raptors answered with an 18-0 run to lead 48-34 at 7:14. Leonard’s fast-break dunk at 3:06 put Toronto up by 20, 59-39. The Raptors outscored the Celtics, 36-13, in the decisive second and led 66-45 at halftime.
“We locked in a little more,” said Siakam, who connected on a career-best four three-pointers. “We got some stops. Obviously, when we get stops we’re dangerous in transition.”
The Celtics had twice as many turnovers in the second quarter (eight) as made baskets (four). The team lost for the fifth time in seven games and is now 0-3 since play resumed following the All-Star break.
“We have to be a lot more connected as a team,” Stevens said. “That’s been the theme for a while.”
Celtics shooting guard Marcus Smart echoed his coach’s assessment.
“Nobody is together,” Smart said. “We’ve got to have everybody on the same page doing the same things at the same time.”
Point guard Kyrie Irving, however, didn’t have much to say when asked to respond to Smart’s comments.
“That’s Marcus’s opinion,” Irving said, declining to answer after being asked whether he agreed with his teammate.
Irving also had little to say about Stevens’s comment that Boston is taking too many “shortcuts” on defense.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s up to Brad.”
Same with Marcus Morris.
“Next question,” he replied.
Irving scored seven points in his lowest-scoring game since he had three points against Detroit on Oct. 27, while Morris tallied 17, and Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier each had 11.
With the win, Toronto extended its home winning streak over Boston to eight. The Celtics have not won in Canada since a 117-116 overtime victory on April 4, 2015.
“Everything they did took us out of what we wanted to do,” Al Horford said.
Celtics: G Brad Wanamaker (illness) was not available. … The Celtics shot six for 30 from 3-point range. … Boston has lost three straight on the road.
Raptors: Toronto had 11 assists on 14 made baskets in the second. … The Raptors went 8-1 in February. … Toronto lost both visits to Boston this season, including one overtime defeat. Boston and Toronto split their four meetings this season, with the home team winning each time. The home team has won 11 straight in the series.
The Raptors outscored the Celtics 29-9 in fast break points.
Toronto is 11-1 when holding opponents below 100 points, while Boston is 3-6 when failing to score at least 100.
Celtics: Host Portland on Wednesday night.
“We just got to stick together,” Horford said. “It’s disappointing, the loss. The only good thing I see in all this is that we’re going home and we get to play at the Garden [Wednesday]. I’m excited about that.”
Raptors: Host Portland on Friday night.