Toronto 93, Boston 87
Celtics show fight in loss
Rally from 16 down for naught in opener
TORONTO – Rudy Gay had 19 points and eight rebounds, Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan each scored 13 points and the Toronto Raptors snapped a three-game losing streak in home openers by beating the Boston Celtics, 93-87, last night.
Jeff Green had 25 points, Brandon Bass had 17 and Vitor Faverani 13 for the Celtics, who were beaten in new Coach Brad Stevens’s NBA debut.
Jonas Valanciunas had eight points and 11 rebounds and Tyler Hansbrough had 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who won for just the sixth time in 26 meetings with Boston.
Kyle Lowry had 11 points and eight assists as Toronto improved to 10-9 in season-opening games.
Kris Humphries had eight points and nine rebounds for the Celtics.
Boston fell behind by 16 points in the third, but rallied to tie it at 71-all heading into the fourth.
After Boston guard Jordan Crawford tied it at 78-all on a jump shot with 7:42 left, the Celtics didn’t score again until Green’s jumper with 4:08 remaining.
Johnson answered with a layup, Gay hit a turnaround jumper and DeRozan banked in a jump shot as Toronto opened a 10-point cushion, 90-80, with 2:34 left.
Faverani scored nine points in the first and the Celtics made 11 of 17 field goal attempts to lead 26-21 after one quarter.
Boston went cold to start the second, missing eight of their first nine attempts and allowing Toronto to take the lead with an 8-1 run.
The Celtics made just two of 14 shots in the second, while the Raptors got six points from Terrence Ross and four each from Gay and Johnson to lead 49-37 at the half.
Toronto extended its lead to 16 points at 60-44 on a Valanciunas dunk at 8:18 of the third, but the Celtics rallied behind nine points from Green and 10 from Bass, whose buzzer-beating dunk knotted the score at 71-all.
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Celtics forward Jared Sullinger was suspended for the opener, two days after a judge dismissed domestic violence charges against him.
Sullinger did not travel with the team to Toronto after the Celtics handed down the penalty.
Sullinger pleaded not guilty last month to charges including assault and battery and intimidation of a witness after his girlfriend, Deann Smith, told the police he repeatedly pinned her to a bed and floor Aug. 31. A judge dismissed those charges Monday after Smith said she would refuse to testify against him.
Sullinger averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 45 games as a rookie last season. He is expected to return tomorrow night for the home opener against Milwaukee.