The Boston Celtics began this week at a disappointing record of 23-47 and were looking for confidence-boosting wins against some playoff teams. Let’s take an in-depth look at their 3 games this week.
On Wednesday, March 26th, the Celtics hosted the third-seeded Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are a young and talented team. They possess one of the more underrated backcourts in the game with breakout star Kyle Lowry at point guard and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan who is also having a fantastic season. The Raptors finished the 1st quarter with a 9-point lead and that is about where the margin would stay for the entire game. Boston was never really quite able to cut it. Toronto would win this game 99-90. All 5 Raptor starters would score in the double-digits with Terence Ross, Lowry, and DeRozan all scoring above 20. Jared Sullinger would score a game-high 26 points for Boston to go along with 8 boards. Rajon Rondo would tally 9 points and 15 assists in the loss.
On Friday, March 28th, the Celtics would play the Raptors yet again, but this time north of the border at Air Canada Centre. This game would go back and forth for the entirety. This nailbiter was fittingly decided in the closing seconds as Kyle Lowry drove to the basket with less than 10 seconds left with the game tied at 103. Lowry would miss the layup, but forward Amir Johnson would get the offensive rebound to lay it in and give the Raptors a 2-point lead with 7 seconds left. Boston would miss the following shot and the Toronto Raptors would beat the Celtics again. DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 30 points. Jerryd Bayless led the Celtics in scoring with 20 off the bench.
On Sunday, March 30th, the Chicago Bulls would travel to TD Garden to take on the Celtics. This game went possession by possession for all 4 quarters. Chicago, however, would prevail with a 107-102 win on the road. Bulls superstar Joakim Noah would fill up the stat sheet with a 13-point, 13-assist, and 8-rebound line. All Bulls starters would score in double-digits. The real storyline for Chicago in this one was shooting guard D.J. Augustin would score a career-high 33 points off the bench, going 10-14 from the field. Rajon Rondo contributed 17 points and 11 assists for Boston and Jared Sullinger would add 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
With their loss to the Bulls on Sunday, the Celtics reached 50 losses for the first time since the 2006-2007 season and now sit at 23-50. Boston is currently the 5th worst team in the NBA. The Celtics will travel to Chicago on Monday with now less than 10 games to play.