THE NITTY GRITTY
Another night, another second-unit-fueled rally by the Celtics ends in a near-miss loss. MarShon Brooks scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting over 19:32 off the Boston bench, while rookie Kelly Olynyk put up 13 points in his homecoming, connecting on 6-of-7 shots with a team-best nine rebounds before fouling out in 25:57. The Celtics, who trailed by as much as 13 early in the game, made it a one-possession game twice in the final 24 seconds, but Jordan Crawford missed a hurried 25-foot triple in the final seconds (and Jared Sullinger couldn't tip home the rebound with a chance to tie). Terrence Ross scored a team-high 19 points off the bench for Toronto, while the Raptors put four other players in double figures (including 14 for Landry Fields).
Olynyk is still getting used to the NBA whistle, but otherwise he's been fantastic over the past couple of games. All six shots he made on Wednesday came at the rim. Olynyk was a team-best plus-14 in plus/minus. ... Jeff Green had another encouraging night, including one particularly highlight-worthy alley-oop (one of two makes at the rim). He finished with 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting and was a starter-best minus-1 in plus/minus. ... Boston generated 23 assists on 35 made field goals (65.7 percent). ... Courtney Lee continues to make good things happen even with his shot not falling (1-of-4, 4 points). Lee impacted the game by registering five assists and three steals over 22:40.
Rookie point guard Phil Pressey suffered a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter. He told reporters in the locker room it didn't appear to be a serious injury. ... Yet again, Boston couldn't string 48 minutes together. The starters spotted Toronto a 13-point cushion little more than seven minutes in. The Celtics have done an excellent job rallying in just about every game this preseason, but Boston is 1-5 and those early deficits are a big reason for the ugly record. Alas, that's the growing pains typically endured by young teams.
The Celtics catch a day off on Thursday after completing a back-to-back. A pair of much-needed practices loom on Friday and Saturday before the team flies back north of the border to Quebec to meet the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday at the Bell Centre in Montreal as part of the NBA's Canada Series. The Celtics wrap up their exhibition slate Tuesday with a visit from the Brooklyn Nets.