The Raptors’ funky, off-day filled road trip came to an end Saturday night with a 117-94 loss to the Celtics in Boston.
With plenty of time to spare while travelling through Philadelphia, San Antonio, Dallas and Boston, head coach Darko Rajakovic had team bonding on his mind.
But team dinners and a person-of-the-game chain couldn’t save the Raptors against the always competitive Celtics, although there was some hope they would be tired after beating the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Boston entered Saturday 6-2, second in the Eastern Conference and top seven in the league in both average points scored and allowed.
The Raptors led for most of the first quarter before the Celtics ran away with it.
Pascal Siakam put up a season-high 31 points and 12 rebounds on Wednesday against the Mavericks. It sparked hope of a turnaround after he started the season slowly, scoring fewer than 20 points in five of his first seven games.
But Saturday was a return to form for Siakam. He scored 17 points with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals — but also three turnovers, almost half of Toronto’s eight. He’s now made only one of his last 16 three-point attempts dating back to Nov. 2 against the 76ers.
Rajakovic and the Raptors appeared to take issue with Mazzulla’s move in the blowout, meeting him at centre court and exchanging words. While nothing more came of the clash, it could turn into something bigger the next time the teams face each other — less than a week away. The Raptors will start a four-game homestand Monday against the Washington Wizards. They’ll host the Celtics on Friday.