Three takeaways from the Toronto Raptors beatdown of Boston Celtics

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The Boston Celtics had absolutely no answer for the Toronto Raptors up north Tuesday evening.

But it was another disappointing night for the Celtics, who slid to their third straight defeat as Toronto contained their offense.

Two years ago, the Celtics were led by an MVP-caliber point guard (Isaiah Thomas) and Al Horford, and they surrounded that duo with a deep cast of role players. This leads to inconsistent play from everyone not named Kyrie Irving. On the other side, the Celtics are 35-17-1 against the spread in their last 53 games versus an opponent with a winning percentage above.600.

"He can make plays against the very best of the best on defence and he's got a great feel for the game on that end", said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens before Tuesday's game. Part of that was the game got so out of hand it was pointless to have him out there in a contest that was out of reach.

Their recent losses have nearly certainly coincided with the injury to Gordon Hayward.

"When you score [33] in the first and you are sitting at 38 with three minutes to go in the second, it's not a good thing". "It's just not going at the pace we expected it to".

Now the question is whether they can pull it off in the playoffs?

Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier had 11 points apiece for the Celtics and Jaylen Brown had 10.

With Leonard and the Raptors coming off their own disappointing loss to the Orlando Magic, this one is shaping up to be another to the buzzer battle.

Marc Gasol finished 2-6 from the field with five points.

The Raptors have shot the ball well below their capabilities all season.

He's been especially lethal in late minutes, scoring or assisting on 25 of Boston's 28 made shots in the fourth quarter and overtime in the Celtics wins on November 16 and January 16. Each season Leonard has seemingly added to his offensive skill-set and this year, he seems to be increasingly comfortable in a ball-dominant facilitator role.

While the Raptors defense is undoubtedly one of the best in the league, Kyle Lowry does provide a relatively weak link.

"I felt like he was trying to get his teammates involved too, things like that", point guard Jeremy Lin noted of Irving, who is routinely (when things are going good) in attack mode most of a game. "So that's what I remember most and that's what I think he's probably preaching".

The former Cleveland Cavalier was also asked whether he agreed with Marcus Smart's assessment that the team aren't playing together at the moment.

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