Celtics All-Star Says Game 4 Loss Was ‘Self-Inflicted’

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Celtics All-Star point guard Kemba Walker took on the blame for Game 4’s loss to the Raptors Saturday night and believes his team was in its own way of capturing a potential 3-1 lead against the Raptors.

After Toronto outscored the Celtics 32-24 in the second half and ultimately pulled away with a 100-93 win, tying up its best-of-7 series and handing the Celtics its second consecutive loss, Walker says he takes responsibility for the disappointing performance and promised to turn things around. Walker, who’s averaging 22 points while shooting at a 48.3% clip throughout the postseason, finished with 15 points on only nine attempts from the floor Saturday while shooting a dreadful 16.7% from deep on 1-of-6 attempts.

“Have to be more aggressive, I think,” Walker said after the loss. “Yeah, I wasn’t aggressive enough. That’s unacceptable on my behalf, to be honest. There’s no way I could just be taking nine shots. That’s unacceptable.”

The Boston Celtics’ Worst shooting Night

The Celtics shot 20% on 7-of-35 attempts from behind the arc. It was their worst 3-point shooting display of the year.

“It’s tough,” Walker said. “Obviously, we didn’t want to come out that way but it just happened, just have to clean it up. We got to find a way, man. Got to be better, I have to be better. I have to find a way to get my teammates at a higher intensity and I will. I’m going to try my best to bring the best out these guys.”

The Celtics missed 28 threes, connected on seven but only one found the bottom of the net when Boston needed it most – in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the Raptors caught fire from behind the arc – where Fred VanVleet (17 points) and Kyle Lowry (22 points) combined for nine of Toronto’s 17 treys on the night. Pascal Siakam finished with a team-high 23 points.

Did the Boston Celtics Do It To Themselves?

Jaylen Brown, whose frustration boiled over following Thursday’s heartbreaking Game 3 loss, says Saturday’s loss is on the Celtics, stating the Raptors haven’t been doing anything out of the ordinary of late.

“Toronto hasn’t done nothing that they haven’t been doing,” Brown said. “They’re a good team, give them credit but a lot of it was self-inflicted on us. Just making the right play, making it easy, ain’t really no pressure. (We) just have to come out and play basketball and have fun. Do our job every single time, keep our will strong and everything will work itself out.

“I tip my hat to Toronto. They came out and played a good game, they’re going to have to come out and play a good game again.”

Walker was asked for his thoughts on Brown calling a lot of what happened Saturday self-inflicted and the Celtics All-Star point guard agreed.

“I agree,” Walker responded. “(It) definitely was self-inflicted but you can’t take away from what those guys did. Those guys (Raptors), they played really well. They were super aggressive, they made great plays, they had great intensity throughout the whole game. I thought we just didn’t match those guys’ intensity. It’s the playoffs, man. We just got to be better – that’s it.” 

Now, with a pivotal 3-2 lead on the line, the Celtics will gear up for what could turn out to be the most crucial game of their best-of-7.

“Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. We know how hard the playoffs is. These are the defending champs (Raptors), these guys have been through it, man. These guys have been through it, they’ve been through the fire before. They’ve been down before. They know what it takes but I can’t stress it enough, we have to be better.”

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