Raptors down Celtics to snap opening night drought

Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:35am EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Raptors finally sent an opening night crowd home with a smile and a win when they held on to beat the Boston Celtics 93-87 to raise the curtain on a new National Basketball Association season on Wednesday.

Rudy Gay had 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds to pace the Raptors while Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan each chipped in with 13 as Toronto ended a run of three straight home opening losses.

"It was the first game of the season and we're coming off a whole week without playing," Gay said.

"So I think we were a little rusty at the beginning. We shook the rust off and came back."

The loss was the first of what is expected to be many for the Celtics after they dismantled their team in the wake last year's first round playoff exit by trading away Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce - the last two members of the Big Three who had led them to two NBA finals and one title.

The Celtics fielded a lineup of unfamiliar names and Jeff Green led the scoring with a game high 25 points, while Brandon Bass added 17 and Brazilian Vitor Faverani 13.

"We had some sloppy moments but a lot of them were out of effort," said Celtics first-year coach Brad Stevens.

"A lot of them while we were flying down the court at two levels too fast and we made a few errors.   Continued...

Oct 30, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) tries to take the ball away from Boston Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk (41) as guard Courtney Lee (11) looks on at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Boston 93-87. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports