(SportsNetwork.com) - Brad Stevens will try to get his first NBA coaching victory Friday when his new-look Boston Celtics stage their home-opener against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The C's fell in Toronto to the Raptors, 93-87. A disastrous second quarter saw the Celtics surrender 28 points and only manage 11 of their own. But Boston rallied, taking the third quarter by 12 until the Raptors were too much in the end.
"I walk out of here, certainly disappointed because you're in a close game and you have a chance, but I walk out of here with some positives to build on," said Stevens, who left Butler to take over the rebuilding Celtics. "I think we're going to get better handling the ball, we're going to get better rebounding and we're going to get better in keeping people in front of us, and we fought back and competed."
Boston committed 22 turnovers and got creamed on the boards to the tune of 48-33.
Jeff Green led the way for the men in green with 25 points. Brandon Bass added 17 and Brazilian rookie Vitor Faverani netted 13 points as the starting center.
Avery Bradley had eight points and four assists before fouling out as he replaces Rajon Rondo, who is out after a torn ACL last season.
Wednesday's game was the first without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The two were traded to Brooklyn in the offseason.
The Bucks fell 25 behind the New York Knicks at the half Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, but actually took the lead with 3:13 left in the game. The Knicks went on a 10-2 surge to end the game and win, 90-83.
"My message to the guys at the halftime was I didn't care about whether we won or lost the game, I cared about us playing the way I know we're capable of playing," said new Bucks head coach Larry Drew.
Six Bucks scored in double figures, led by Gary Neal's 16. Neal signed with Milwaukee as a free agent in the offseason. Caron Butler (14), O.J. Mayo (13), Zaza Pachulia (13) and Ersan Ilyasova (10) also managed double-digit scoring nights.
Brandon Knight, the centerpiece of Milwaukee's offseason trade of Brandon Jennings, played two minutes, then strained his hamstring and didn't return. His availability for Friday is unknown and with backup point guard Luke Ridnour on the shelf with injury, starting duties could fall to second-round pick Nate Wolters.
Larry Sanders, who signed a contract extension this summer after a dynamic 2012-13, only played 12 minutes and went scoreless.
The Bucks took three of four from the Celtics last season, including both in Boston.