Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics
Records: Raptors (12-3); Celtics (8-6)
Where to Watch
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Radio: SN 590
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
After Wednesday's crushing home loss to Detroit in which it led by as many as 19 points, Toronto begins a four-game road trip Friday night when it visits the Boston Celtics.
The Raptors have dropped two consecutive games after getting out to a franchise-best 12-1 start through 13 games. While it's far too early to panic, there have been a number of concerning trends in the past two losses.
In the loss to Detroit, Toronto committed a season-high 20 turnovers and shot a season-low 20 percent from 3-point range, making just four of 20 3-point attempts. Dating back to Monday's loss to the Pelicans, the Raptors are shooting a combined 17-for-65 (26.1 percent) from deep.
Injuries have also been a concern for Toronto, who finished Wednesday down four bodies. Serge Ibaka (right knee soreness), C.J. Miles (right adductor strain) and Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation) were inactive, while Danny Green left the game early due to lower back tightness. With Raptors 905 playing in nearby Maine on Thursday, two-way players Chris Boucher and Jordan Loyd could be called up as reinforcements for Toronto Friday.
It is worth noting that Friday night's game is the first night of a back-to-back, meaning there is a possibility that star forward Kawhi Leonard could sit out as a preventative measure.
This is the second meeting this season between the divisional foes, as the Raptors earned a 12-point win at Scotiabank Arena during opening week. Leonard scored a game-high 31 points and Serge Ibaka added 21 points on 10-for-14 shooting. The Celtics were led by 21 points and six assists from Kyrie Irving and Al Horford's near triple-double (14 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists) in the loss.
To take things a step further, the home team has won in the last eight regular-season meetings between Boston and Toronto. The Raptors last win at TD Garden came on Dec. 9, 2016, when Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 34 points to lead his team to a seven-point win.
Boston, who is off to a somewhat underwhelming 8-6 start, looks to continue its dominance of Toronto at TD Garden.
Friday night is the second game of a three-game homestand for the Celtics, who have dropped just one game at home so far this season. Wednesday, Boston put on its most dominant performance of the season by earning a 29-point win over Chicago.
It was a balanced attack for the C's Wednesday night - led by 18 points from Jaylen Brown, six different players finished in double figures (Irving, Horford, Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum) while two others (Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes) came close.
Boston played impeccable defence on Wednesday, limiting Chicago to 39.3 percent shooting from the field, forcing 22 Chicago turnovers that resulted in 22 points and committing just 12 fouls over the course of the game. Given the Raptors recent turnover woes, the Celtics could look to ramp up the pressure to make things difficult for their opponent.
Last Time They Played
Date: Oct. 19, 2018
Score: Raptors 113, Celtics 101
Celtics: Kyrie Irving - 21 points, six assists, four rebounds
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 31 points, 10 rebounds, three assists