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Sloppy fourth quarter dooms the Celtics against Toronto 116-109

Celtics fail to extend unbeaten preseason streak.

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

After blowing out both the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks in their first two games of the preseason, the Celtics were faced with a much tougher test Friday night as they took the floor to battle the Toronto Raptors.

Toronto - the reigning Atlantic Division champion - came out strong in the first quarter. Led by DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors ripped off two separate runs of 10-3 and 11-2, putting the Celtics in an early 31-21 hole.

Boston turned things around quickly in the second, though, putting together a 16-5 run that pushed them ahead 37-36 midway through the period.

Avery Bradley caught fire shortly thereafter, particularly from behind the three point arc. The two guard poured in 17 of his 20 (8/13 FG) first half points in the second frame, while Grievis Vasquez's 7 points - in addition to the efforts of Terrence Ross, Jonas Valanciunas, and DeRozan - were enough to keep the Raptors up by four heading into halftime.

The second half entailed much of the same as the first, as both teams came out of the locker room looking to continue to push the pace and put up threes. The game's torrid pace ultimately led to 37 and 27 third quarter points for the Celtics and Raptors, respectively, putting the score in the Cs favor, 93-87, heading into the final twelve minutes.

Unfortunately, the Celtics' sloppy play on the offensive end as well as poor rebounding and rotations on the other allowed Toronto to take charge via a 24-5 run that lasted nearly nine minutes and, despite somewhat of a late Boston scare led by Marcus Thornton, Brad Stevens' club was unable to claw it's way back for a victory.

Although the Celtics gave this one away late, it was refreshing to see them giving Toronto a real run for it's money throughout the majority of this game. Bradley was efficient scoring the ball, Jared Sullinger nearly notched a triple-double, Turner continued to stuff the stat sheet, and Marcus Smart looked great - as usual - defensively.

Now 2-1, Boston will look to bounce back against the Knicks tomorrow night at Mohegan Sun.

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