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Raptors wrap up win in Boston

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BOSTON — The short-handed Toronto Raptors were pleased to get out of TD Garden with a win on Wednesday night.

What the Raptors, winners of four of their first five games, weren’t necessarily thrilled with was the way they got their 110-107 victory over the Boston Celtics.

“We’re happy with the win, but our starts are killing us,” point guard Kyle Lowry said after his 35 points led the Raptors from a 16-point first-quarter deficit to the win. ” … We gotta start off better than what we’ve been starting off.”

On Tuesday night at home, the Raptors trailed the injury-ravaged Oklahoma City Thunder by seven at the end of the first quarter and by 10 in the second quarter before coming back to win.

On Wednesday night, they fell behind 27-11, came roaring back, dropped back by eight in the third quarter and then rode Lowry and forward DeMar DeRozen to the win.

“To be a championship-caliber team, we shouldn’t have to say giddy-up,” said coach Dwane Casey, who allowed for the fact that his team, missing injured starting frontcourt players Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas, might have been a bit tired playing their fourth game in five nights.

But Casey didn’t want the players using that as an excuse.

“To Kyle’s credit, it’s four games in five nights … but, again, it’s a hard league,” Casey said. “They picked it up. Kyle took the challenge of (Rajon) Rondo and (rookie Marcus) Smart going at him and the play at the game was the steal he had at the end.”

With the score tied at 105, Lowry, who had 14 points in the third quarter, including 11 straight for his team, stripped rookie guard Marcus Smart, drove down the floor and fed DeRozan for a dunk and a foul with 33 seconds left. DeRozen completed the old-fashioned 3-point play.

Rondo, who had a triple-double, was fouled and made the free throws with 28.9 seconds remaining, but Lowry then worked the clock down and hit a tough jumper with eight seconds remaining.

Down by three, the Celtics (1-3 with three straight losses) got a 3-point attempt from forward Jeff Green that missed. Forward Jared Sullinger grabbed his 16th rebound of the game, his eight on the offensive end, but Boston ran out of time.

Lowry was 12 of 17 from the floor and 2 of 3 from 3-point range and had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. DeRozen scored 23 points and had six assists, forward Patrick Patterson scored 14 points, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers, and guard Lou Williams scored 11 off the bench.

Rondo had 13 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds as Boston put six players in double figures. Green had 20 points, Sullinger 19, center Kelly Olynyk 18 (and 13 rebounds), guard Avery Bradley 16 and Smart 12.

The Raptors won this game despite getting outrebounded 55-24. The Celtics helped by turning the ball over 28 times.

“Well, you know, we were doing really well as far as (turnovers) go,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “I think we were sixth or seventh in the league and obviously that will flip now.”

Rondo and fellow guard Evan Turner both turned the ball over five times, each two fewer than the entire Toronto coughed it up as a team.

“With 28 turnovers, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot,” Olynyk said. “Teams are going to beat you, but when you look at that, it’s kind of like we just beat ourselves.”

Toronto led by six when Patterson hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:01 left. But Green nailed a 3-pointer and Smart then hit another one 35 seconds later to tie the score with 1:10 remaining, setting the stage for the Lowry steal.

The teams combined to go 17 of 42 from 3-point range.

NOTES: Raptors F Amir Johnson didn’t make the trip, missing his third straight game with an ankle injury. Coach Dwane Casey said he expects Johnson back for Friday night’s home game against the Washington Wizards. … C Jonas Valanciunas, who suffered a bruised hand and also took a shot to the face Tuesday night, was very doubtful for the game and then didn’t dress. … Celtics C Vitor Faverani, who underwent knee surgery in Spain last month, is back in Boston. “He was at shootaround this morning and looks good, feels good,” Stevens said. “Still a long way away from being on the court.” … The Celtics had a pregame moment of silence for former Boston mayor Thomas Menino, who died last week. … The Celtics host the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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