BOSTON — The Toronto Raptors, hoping to continue a building process that produced a division title last season, signed free agent forward DeMarre Carroll in the offseason.
Friday night provided a serious example of why.
Carroll scored 21 points, 10 of them in a 4:12 span of the third quarter, and swingman Terrence Ross poured in 13 in the fourth quarter to propel the Raptors to a 113-101 victory over the Boston Celtics.
Carroll, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists in Toronto’s opening victory, was 4 of 7 from 3-point range and his third-quarter outburst helped his team turn a halftime tie into a nine-point lead.
From there Ross took over, scoring 13 of his 21 points in the first 7:22 of the fourth quarter. His 3-pointer gave the Raptors a 101-84 lead with 5:51 remaining.
Ross, who came off the bench, was 8 of 12 shooting from the floor for the Raptors, the favorites to repeat in the Atlantic Division.
The Raptors built their lead to 19 with 4:05 left. The Celtics closed the deficit to nine but a Carroll put-back with 1:33 left sealed the victory.
Swingman DeMar DeRozen scored 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists for the Raptors, while guard Dwight Lowry added 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds forward Luis Scola had nine points and nine rebounds and center Jonas Valaciunas grabbed 10 boards.
Guard Isaiah Thomas came off the bench to lead the Celtics (1-1) with 25 points and seven assists, but was just 7 of 16 from the floor after also struggling with his outside shot in a 25-point opening performance. Guard Avery Bradley led four others in double figures with 13 points, grabbing five rebounds.
The Celtics missed nine free throws and were just 7 of 26 from 3-point range in the game. Toronto was 11 of 26 from behind the arc.
Forward Amir Johnson, who left the Raptors for Boston as a free agent, had 11 points and eight rebounds in his first game against his old team.
The Celtics took an early 10-4 lead as the Raptors failed to get good shots or control the ball. The visitors then rallied to take a 14-12 lead and the game was tied at the end of the first quarter and at the half.
Thomas with 14 points and five assists lead the Celtics. Pacing the Raptors was DeRozan with 12 points and five rebounds.
The Celtics hurt themselves by going 13 of 19 from the foul line in the half, while Toronto was 21 of 24.
There were three technical fouls in a 32-foul first half. The teams combined for 61 fouls in the game.
NOTES: Boston F Kelly Olynyk, who missed Wednesday’s opener while serving a one-game suspension for his playoff grab-and-yank on Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love’s arm, made his season debut Friday. … With the win, Toronto coach Dwane Casey matched Sam Mitchell for the most wins in Raptors history with 156. “In the NBA you’re only as good as your last game,” Casey said. “In our business, it’s sad, but nobody appreciates the building, what we started, where we are now. All they remember now is that last game.” … Celtics rookie R.J. Hunter, who missed his NBA debut because of illness, was ready after what he thinks was food poisoning. “You hear all the jokes like ‘you were too nervous to play.’” he said before the game, which was attended by his dad, Georgia State coach Ron Hunter, who flew in after his team’s practice. … On Sunday the Raptors host the Milwaukee Bucks, while the Celtics complete their season-opening three-game homestand against the San Antonio Spurs.