After the Boston Celtics (23-49) fell to the Toronto Raptors (41-31) on Wednesday in a 99-90 loss, they wanted revenge on Friday, but dropped another in a 105-103 defeat in the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors secured their first playoff berth since the 2007-2008 season, and possibly will lock up the Atlantic Division with 10 games remaining.
In the closing seconds of the final quarter, the Celtics allowed Raptors' Amir Johnson to score off an offense rebound. Boston had one possession to tie the game, but didn't convert on a 18-foot jumper from Jared Sullinger at the buzzer.
Despite the close loss, the Celtics didn't go away quietly. Boston, who was down 12 points at the start of the final quarter, bursted out quickly with a 15-2 run with three minutes left.
Jerryd Bayless led all Boston scorers in the fourth with 14 of his 20 points (6-for-8 from the field). DeMar Derozan produced 10 of his 30 points (5 of 12 from the field) to give his team the victory.
Celtics have been looking for positive aspects in every loss, and their focus tonight was their first-half scoring, particularly Jeff Green, and bench contribution. Green posted 16 points and four rebounds.
The Celtics supporting cast has been a big part of their success this season, and they sustained their consistent play after scoring 49 points off the bench. Jared Sullinger, coming off a 26-points performance on Wednesday, recorded 11 points and nine rebounds.
Boston had momentum going into the second half. But due to eight turnovers in the third quarter, Toronto gained insurance to secure a big margin to the fourth.
Brad Stevens and company will host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday at 7 p.m.