Boston Celtics defeat Toronto Raptors, 116-103

The Celtics’ defensive statistics looked un-Celtic-like last night.

The Toronto Raptors shot 55.7 percent from the field and became the third Boston opponent to score in triple figures in regulation this season.

But the Celtics turned down the defensive screws long enough early in the second half to take a 116-103 victory, an encouraging send-off performance before a four-game road trip.

“At halftime, I said, ‘The first team that plays defense wins, guys,’ ’’ Celtics...

The Celtics’ path to the postseason and perhaps back to the NBA Finals is going to be more challenging than it was in 2008. What’s more, the past week should serve as a reminder that fans should cease comparisons of the current squad and that world championship club.

Through 16 games, the Celtics have scuffled their way to a 12-4 record, tied with Orlando and Atlanta for the best record in the East. Their victories, including last night’s 116-103 decision over the Toron...