Instead, the Celtics routinely gave the ball away in live-ball situations.
The Celtics had only three players who scored points in double digits. "So, it will really be fascinating to watch the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs, in the heat of battle, which is so extraordinarily different when the playoffs arrive", Burke said. "The defense played me differently tonight and I felt comfortable out there".
Toronto faces IN (next), Orlando, Detroit, and Miami for their final four games.
The best evidence that the Raptors underperformed came from their own management, which kept the core intact but blew everything else up, including the team's style of play.
Toronto was still within 11 in the fourth when James drove the baseline, hung in the air and spun in a reverse layup while being fouled.
He recorded 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Cavaliers posted a 112-106 win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
"It's been tough on our guys", coach Stan Van Gundy said.
No one is denying the Raptors have had a special regular season, with them on the verge of setting a new franchise record for wins.
Still, Raptors coach Dwane Casey wasn't celebrating. We've just got to keep going.
The Raptors are in the midst of a grueling three-game stretch against Boston, Cleveland and the Celtics again that Casey believes will toughen his team.
John Wall had nearly as many turnovers (eight) as points (nine) and a bad minus-18 rating in an ugly 120-104 loss to the Houston Rockets.
"There's value to winning the next game and preparing to win the next game", Stevens said. "They were very physical". The previous meeting, Boston was running the floor and penetrating the paint continuously. Anunoby and Ibaka have both looked better and more mobile since - the result of some much-needed rest - which offers some cause for encouragement. Marcus Morris, who continues to step up in the absence of Irving, burned C.J. Miles and the Raps for 25 points and nine rebounds.
"The only reason we were down at halftime was the turnovers", Stevens said. Toronto stayed within striking distance at all times, often cutting the lead to just a couple of scores but never truly threatened the Cavaliers. G Shane Larkin (illness) did not travel to Toronto. Toronto turned those turnovers into 29 points.
Something in particular Burke - the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award victor - has noticed is all of the shots fired Toronto's way and how little praise the East's first place team has received.
The Celtics shot 3 for 22 from 3-point range.
This team has struggled in each first round matchup from the past four seasons, having been eliminated twice while needing a seven- and six-game series to dismantle the teams they beat. The Wolves are 8-8 since he was hurt and remain in a fight to reach the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. The Toronto Raptors are shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc and 79.7 percent from the free throw line. You can also download the free odds tracker app.
Celtics: Host Chicago on Friday. Won their seventh straight home game.