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4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 PM MST6:30 PM EST3:30 UAE (+1)00:3019:30 ET5:30 PM CT22:30 , October 22, 2021
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 19,156

Celtics, Raptors hope to rebound from season-opening losses

According to STATS
According to STATS

Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics

  1. The Celtics swept their three-game series against the Raptors last season, averaging 126.0 points. It was their highest scoring average against a single opponent in a season since averaging 132.3 points against the Magic in 1989-90 (minimum three games).
  2. Toronto lost to Washington in its season opener, 98-83, its second-fewest points scored in a season opener in franchise history (74 points in 2002-03). The Raptors went 7-for-34 (.206) from three -- they shot under 25.0 percent from beyond the arc just twice in 2020-21.
  3. OG Anunoby tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds in the season opener, just his ninth career double-double in 254 career games. He went 3-for-17 (.176), his worst shooting performance in a game with more than 10 attempts.
  4. Boston lost a double OT thriller to New York to open the season, 138-134, its most points in a season opener since 1962-63 (149). The Celtics made 21 threes, their most in a loss in franchise history.
  5. Jaylen Brown scored 46 points with eight made threes in Boston's season opener. He's the third player in franchise history to score that many points with at least eight made threes in a game, joining Isaiah Thomas in 2016 and Antoine Walker in 2001.
  6. Both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum took 30 shots in Boston's loss to New York. The last time two Celtics players each took at least 30 shots in a game was Antoine Walker (30 shots) and Paul Pierce (34) on November 22, 2002.

Neither the Toronto Raptors nor the Boston Celtics were able to pull out victories in their respective season openers.

Both will look to break into the win column for the first time this season as Jaylen Brown and the Celtics host Fred VanVleet and the Raptors in their home opener Friday night.

Brown went off for a career-high 46 points in Wednesday's season opener at the New York Knicks, but it wasn't enough as the Celtics fell 138-134 in double overtime.

A first-time All-Star a season ago, Brown logged 46 minutes and went 16-of-30 from the field -- including 8-of-14 shooting from 3-point range -- while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out six assists.

Brown got the start after testing positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 8 and being away from the team on quarantine. He was cleared to rejoin the team on Tuesday.

"How did I do it? I think just being aggressive -- I don't know how I did it," a visibly tired Brown said postgame. "Towards the end I could feel my heart beating through my chest, but it would've been better if we got a win."

Brown's fellow backcourt star Jayson Tatum struggled through an off night and had 20 points on 7-of-30 shooting, making just two of 15 shots from long distance.

"He carried us tonight," Tatum said of Brown. "He was unbelievable. I wish I could've done my part."

Celtics center Al Horford remained out while in the NBA's health and safety protocols following a positive COVID test. Guard Josh Richardson was a late scratch due to a migraine.

Toronto struggled to put points on the board with star forward Pascal Siakam sidelined in its 98-83 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

VanVleet and Scottie Barnes led the Raptors with 12 points apiece. OG Anunoby grabbed 10 boards and scored 11 points, completing Toronto's short list of double-figure scorers.

Siakam recently returned to practice in a limited capacity after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

"There's gonna be some of these (games like this) -- it is what it is," VanVleet said postgame. "We're trying things -- a lot of things -- and none of it was working tonight. Hopefully we'll go back to the drawing board (and) try to come up with something that will work for us in Boston."

It was the Raptors' first true home game since Feb. 28, 2020 after relocating to Tampa, Fla., last season due to COVID-related travel restrictions.

"It seemed to me we weren't fully engaged and something was there, and it probably was just a pretty big moment," Toronto coach Nick Nurse said.

Toronto was swept in its three games against Boston in last year's pandemic-shortened regular season. The Raptors have dropped four straight to the Celtics and six of their last seven meetings since the start of the 2019-20 season.

Friday's game will mark the regular season home debut for Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who was hired over the offseason after longtime coach Brad Stevens was elevated to a front office role.

--Field Level Media

Updated October 21, 2021

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