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Celtics end preseason nicked up heading into Opening Night

Never play basketball games on hockey rinks.

Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics faced off against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night in their final preseason game, and like a bad case of déjà vu, Boston lost to Toronto in overtime 137-134. Outside of Jayson Tatum receiving two technical fouls and being tossed from a preseason game, the night was mostly uneventful for Boston, but Joe Mazzulla believes there will still some positive takeaways as the team prepares to host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

“I thought there was a lot of good things” said Joe Mazzulla, “A lot of good lessons for us to learn, players and coaches. And I thought that’s exactly what we needed to go through heading into the season.” In terms of what the Celtics could improve on, Mazzulla said, “work on what we want to run late in the game... just making sure we have what we need to have offensively and defensively heading into Tuesday.”

Mazzulla also said that Malcolm Brogdon was held out of the second half as a precaution after some leg soreness, and confirmed that Luke Kornet was cleared to play after returning from an ankle injury but was a healthy scratch against Toronto. While this could have also been a precaution, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Celtics will start cutting down their roster starting tomorrow.

“It was good, it felt good for us to just get back into rhythm,” said Marcus Smart. “A lot of us didn’t play in the Charlotte game, so we didn’t want to have too many games — too much time off the court without being on the court before Tuesday.” He continued, “it was good, the last preseason game, and just really trying to get our cardio up before Tuesday comes around.”

Multiple Celtics slipped on the floor at Centre Bell, including Smart, who gave an update on his status during his postgame interview. “I feel like I’m all right,” said Smart of his pulled groin. “But the adrenaline is still going right now. Hopefully in the morning, I feel all right.” Smart also had a collision earlier in the game with Raptors wing OG Anunoby, who fell backwards onto Smart’s leg while driving for a layup.

Earlier in the game, Grant Williams avoided injury when he blew a tire on this drive:

The Celtics and 76ers face off on Tuesday at TD Garden in their season opener. Tipoff is at 7:30 pm EST.

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