TORONTO (AP) – A lack of togetherness is turning into big trouble for the struggling Boston Celtics.
Pascal Siakam scored 25 points, Kawhi Leonard had 21 and the Toronto Raptors used a huge second quarter to rout Boston 118-95 on Tuesday night. Marcus Morris scored 17 points, and Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier each had 11 as Boston lost for the fifth time in seven games.
The Celtics are 0-3 since play resumed following the All-Star break.
“We have to be a lot more connected as a team,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “That’s been the theme for a while.”
Celtics guard Marcus Smart echoed his coach’s assessment.
“Nobody is together,” Smart said. “We’ve got to have everybody on the same page doing the same things at the same time.”
Still, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving wasn’t on the same page when asked to respond to Smart’s comments.
“That’s Marcus’ opinion,” Irving said, declining to answer after being asked whether he agreed with his teammate.
Irving also had little to say about Stevens’ comment that Boston is taking too many “shortcuts” on defence.
“I don’t know,” Irving said. “It’s up to Brad.”
Irving scored seven points. It was his lowest-scoring game since he had three points against Detroit on October 27, last year.
Serge Ibaka scored 14 points and Norm Powell added 11 as Toronto extended its home winning streak over Boston to eight. The Celtics have not won in Canada since a 117-116 overtime victory on April 4, 2015.
Kyle Lowry had 11 assists and Toronto led by as many as 31, turning the game around by outscoring Boston 36-13 in the decisive second.
“Everything they did took us out of what we wanted to do,” Boston’s Al Horford said.
The Raptors have won 15 of 17 at home, where they’re 26-6 overall.
Toronto made 17 three-pointers, one shy of a season-high. Siakam matched his career-best by connecting four times in five attempts from long range.
The Celtics led 32-30 after one quarter and scored the opening points of the second, but the Raptors answered with an 18-0 run to lead 48-34 at 7:14. Leonard’s fast break dunk at 3:06 put Toronto up by 20, 59-39.
“We locked in a little more,” Siakam said. “We got some stops. Obviously, when we get stops we’re dangerous in transition.”
The Celtics had twice as many turnovers in the second quarter (eight) as made baskets (four).
“I thought we were outplayed in every which way,” Stevens said.
Toronto led 66-45 at halftime.