Celtics booed, ‘punked’ in losing effort home opener


It had been nearly 600 days since a full crowd got to watch the Celtics at the TD Garden.

But the packed house in Boston Friday night didn’t get the kind of performance it was hoping for and even expected as the Celtics got blown out in the their home opener, the visiting Raptors pulling away in the second half for the 115-83 win.

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A couple nights after thrilling, fight-to-the-finish loss in New York in double overtime, Boston was finished much earlier this time around. Though Toronto held just a 51-47 lead at halftime, the Raptors outscored the Celtics 33-17 in the third quarter to pull away for the blowout win.

And as Boston fans are wont to do, the crowd made its feelings quite clear as boos rained down on the floor at halftime and at various points in the second half for new Celtics head coach Ime Udoka’s home debut.

Not only did Udoka not defend his team against the boos, he almost embraced the crowd’s assessment of his team’s performance.

“The one thing you can’t stand as a coach is to get punked out there,” Udoka said, likewise making his feelings quite clear about the way his now 0-2 team played against Toronto. “They basically came out and punked us, outplayed us.”

One area that was evident was on the glass, where the Raptors out-rebounded the Celtics 60-42. The divide was especially glaring in terms of offensive rebounds, with Toronto notching a 21-10 advantage on the way to easy victory.

Following an historic career-best 46 points in the season-opening loss in New York, Jaylen Brown crashed back to reality against Toronto with just nine points in 28 minutes on three-of-13 shooting, including 0-for-7 from three-point land.

The Celtics didn’t have a great night behind the arc as a team, hitting 11-of-34 threes. The struggle was even uglier for the starters. Boston’s opening five w