PORTLAND, Maine — The Boston Celtics NBA basketball team on Tuesday announced plans to play an October preseason game in Portland.
The Celtics are the parent club for the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws, which plays its home games at the Portland Expo. The Boston team, which is coming off a 25-57 season in which it failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the season before the team won its most recent league championship, will face the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 15 at the Cross Insurance Arena.
“As an organization, we could not be happier for the fans of the Celtics and the Red Claws across the state of Maine,” said Dajuan Eubanks, president of the Red Claws, in a Tuesday statement. “They have been so supportive of us since we arrived back in 2009. We couldn’t think of a better way to say ‘thank you’ than by partnering with Seacoast Sports to bring the Celtics back to Maine for a preseason game for the first time in 19 years.”
The Celtics last played a preseason game in Portland in 1995, when they faced the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Tip-off for the Oct. 15 contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and tickets range from $45 to $150. Tickets will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Aug. 25 at the arena box office, through Ticketmaster outlets, at 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.
Maine Red Claws season ticket holders will get an early opportunity to purchase tickets to the Celtics’ Portland game from now until Aug. 18, the Red Claws announced Tuesday.
The game could be a homecoming of sorts for Avery Bradley, who was assigned to the Red Claws during his rookie season of 2010-11 and broke the D-League record for steals in a game with nine. Bradley has since become a valued member of the Celtics, reportedly signing a four-year, $32 million contract extension with Boston last month.
The preseason game also could be an opportunity for Maine fans to get a close-up look at the Celtics’ new class of rookies. Thanks in part to a deal last year to trade aging stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets, Boston stockpiled draft picks to rebuild its roster.
With two first-round picks this year, the Celtics selected Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart and swingman James Young from the University of Kentucky.