Celtics Notes: Boston Hoping Win Over Raptors Serves As ‘Building Block’

Annoyed but not fazed Raptors’ Fred Van Vleet knows the law of averages will end his slump

Not only that, but Kyrie Irving didn't play the last time these two squads faced off, and expect him to be a heaven-sent for the Celtics.

Danny Green of the Toronto Raptors huddles up with his team before a recent game.

YABA, DABBA DO!: Guerschon Yabusele didn't get on the floor until the game was out of reach, but Celtics fans - and the coaching staff - certainly had to like what they saw.

The game against the Phoenix Suns should have been a contest they controlled. Those two set the league afire in the 2017-18 season, leading their teams to lengthy playoff runs. The Celtics never led after the midway point of the first quarter and trailed by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter. Boston outscored the Raptors 16-9 in the overtime session to secure the win.

"It's just a mindset", Irving said.

"What he said was real".

"Play better defense, execution on the offensive end, a lot of things could have happened, (that) we be different", Kyle Lowry said after the loss to Casey and the Pistons. He said, 'It's not OK. I think we're in a good position to be 12-4.

"This game isn't a given", added Mitchell. They didn't allow the Bulls to get ahead, winning by a large margin of 111-82.

The Toronto Raptors, saddled with their first two-game losing streak of the season, visit TD Garden Friday night for the second battle of the season between the teams picked to finish atop the Eastern Conference.

Almost beating the favorite to win the Eastern Conference on the road while missing some significant accomplishment.

To his credit, Kyrie Irving did play a "team game" on Friday night, finishing with 11 assists on route to a 123-116 overtime win.

So the win over the Raptors was negated by the brutal loss to the Jazz. To do that against a Utah team that has been among the best rebounding clubs this season is a definite positive. They were only able to score 86 points. He shot 4-for-12 on Wednesday, and is now shooting a career-low 39.0 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from deep.

The Celtics had been in a mini-funk the past couple of weeks, losing four of their past six, and they entered the night 24th in the National Basketball Association in scoring (105.6 points per game) and 28th in shooting percentage (.429). The potential to be elite is there, but things just aren't clicking. If you're wondering where Utah's recent shooting woes have landed them, they're now a mediocre 13th in the league in field goal percentage (45.5 percent) and a disgusting 26th in the league in both 3-point percentage (32.6 percent) and free throw percentage (71.5 percent).

He scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, including 11 in a row for Boston in one stretch, and made a series of increasingly hard layups in and around the rim to keep the Celtics in the game.

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