Boston Celtics Fall To Lowly Toronto Raptors, 102-101: Is There Reason To Be Concerned?

The Boston Celtics lost their second in a row on Sunday, falling by one point to the lowly Raptors in a Sunday matinee. Is there reason to be concerned?

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Boston Celtics Fall To Lowly Toronto Raptors, 102-101: Is There Reason To Be Concerned?

For many years, the Toronto Raptors had a secret weapon: the Sunday 1 p.m. games at home. Teams come in on a long road trip and are completely unprepared for the random early start. Therefore, the Raptors have an advantage. It's caused them to knock off some top teams over the years, and it happened again last Sunday. 

The Raptors topped the mighty Boston Celtics 102-101 on Sunday, sending the Celtics to their second consecutive loss. The Raptors controlled the game most of the way and built a 12-point lead with nine minutes to go, but the Celtics embarked on a furious 17-1 run to take the lead. Toronto battled back, though, and got to within three with 18.8 seconds left. After Sonny Weems hit a layup, the Raptors forced a turnover on Ray Allen to get the ball back. Eventually, Amir Johnson was fouled under the hoop with 2.7 seconds to go, and he hit both free throws for the game-winning margin. The Celtics had one last chance to steal the game, but Paul Pierce missed a jumper at the buzzer and the Raptors survived.

The much-maligned Andrea Bargnani was spectacular, scoring 29 points in the game. Johnson added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Reggie Evans had 16 boards. Nate Robinson lit up the Raptors in the first quarter for 16 points, but had only six the rest of the way. 

The Celtics were frustrated by the officiating in the game. It looked like Leandro Barbosa may have hit Allen's arm on the steal, and the foul called on Johnson underneath is the kind of thing that's often not called late in NBA games. But SB Nation's Celtics Blog doesn't want to hear it. They're more concerned with the team's lackadaisical attitude in recent games.

Here we go again.  The Celtics just can't seem to bring themselves to playing consistent basketball (especially on defense) for 48 minutes against lower caliber teams.  There were times in the last couple of games where they "turned it on" and absolutely shut the Thunder and Raptors down for long stretches.  But it wasn't enough because they allowed other stretches of binge scoring for the opponents.

I don't want to hear about the refs.  If you put yourself in a position to lose to the Raptors you don't deserve any calls.  Period.

The Celtics were playing without Rajon Rondo, who continues to struggle with a hamstring injury. Despite Robinson's big game in his absence, the Celtics clearly miss him. They lost to the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, and now, they've lost to the lowly Raptors, Sunday matinee advantage be dammed. 

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