TORONTO — With nothing to play for, the Celtics didn’t play at all Wednesday night. Well, they technically played, if you want to call it that. They wore the proper attire and took to the court at the Air Canada Centre. But the Celtics didn’t do much beyond that.
Boston closed down its regular season at 41-40 by being thoroughly showed up by the Toronto Raptors, who routed the Celtics, 114-90, a score that doesn’t do this blowout justice.
What’s next? Oh, just the playoffs.
Boston faces the New York Knicks in Game 1 at 3 p.m. (on ABC) Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
That’s the future. In the now, what does coach Doc Rivers take away from this loss?
“Nothing,” he said.
That’s because his team was without Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry — and because Paul Pierce played limited minutes, as did Brandon Bass and Jeff Green.
“I wanted to win, still,” Rivers said. “I think you should try and win whenever you have guys.”
But the Celtics didn’t come close. The game turned ugly after halftime, when Toronto’s 13-0 run put it ahead by 21 points.
Rivers waved the white flag by inserting rookie center Fab Melo in the second half. He responded by picking up four fouls in three minutes.
The Celtics had their backups on the court for most of the second half, as Rivers doled out playing time to Jordan Crawford, D.J. White, Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee, et al.
“Those guys need to play minutes because they need to play better,” Rivers said. “We’re going to need one of them, maybe two, one for sure.”
Pierce, who was sick most of the week, scored 11 points in 14 minutes. Crawford had 16 off the bench. Green scored 9 points in 17 minutes, Bass 6 in 18.
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points for Toronto.
In all, it wasn’t the sendoff the Celtics were hoping for as they head into their first-round playoff matchup.
“We’ll be prepared,” Green said.
Starting Saturday, they’ll have a chance to back up those words.
Honoring the victims
The teams met at center court in solidarity and reverence for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing before the game.
When the Celtics players were being introduced, the Raptors played Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” just as the New York Yankees did at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. The Celtics players wore a black stripe across the left shoulder of their jerseys and the coaching staff wore 2013 Boston Marathon pins as the team played its first game since Monday’s race.
Rivers said he’s been encouraged by the support from around the country.
“You saw the Yankees/Red Sox hats,” the coach said. “Don’t get it wrong — we still hate each other in sports, but not in life. You can separate the two things.’’
Allen friend injured
Former Celtic Ray Allen said that a friend of his family was among those who lost a leg in Monday’s bombings. ‘‘We have a family friend that was there, that ran the marathon, and she’s in intensive care now because she lost her leg,’’ Allen said. The Miami Heat guard has been a spectator at the marathon several times. He said his mother has run the marathon three times and that his wife has done so twice. ‘‘We would have been sitting at the finish line, me and my whole family, waiting on my mom and my wife. They would have been running if we were in Boston.’’ . . . The Celtics won’t have to worry about facing Rasheed Wallace in the playoffs. The Knicks power forward and former Celtic retired, the Knicks announced. Wallace, 38, who was in his 16th season, had been struggling with a left foot injury. “It’s too bad that he gets injured right before the playoffs, because that’s what the veterans come back for,” Rivers said. It’s the second time that Wallace has retired. He also retired after the Celtics lost Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 2010. In 21 games for the Knicks this season, Wallace averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds in 14.1 minutes.Material from the Associated Press was used t. Baxter Holmes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxterHolmes