In a wildly entertaining game that required overtime and was highlighted by playoff intensity, the Celtics the Raptors, 123-116. It was a monstrous night for Kyrie Irving who finished the game with 43 points including 39 points in regulation.
Irving took over for the Celtics with 8 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, scoring 9 straight points for the Celtics in a two minute span to give the Celtics a two point lead. The Raptors battled back to a four point lead with under four minutes to go when Danny Green fouled out of the game going over the back of Jayson Tatum for a rebound. Irving put on offensive clinic down the stretch keeping the Celtics in contact. A Hayward steal led to a Tatum flush with under a minute to go and a Siakam foul on Hayward in the rebounding action led to clutch free throws in which Gordon tied the game. Leonard missed the shot at the end of the game and things headed to overtime tied 107-107.
Kyrie maintained his dominance in overtime, setting up the first four points and scoring the fifth and sixth. Jayson Tatum took advantage of a switch on Lowry to get into the paint and draw a foul to push the lead to five. After a Toronto timeout, Lowry hit a bit shot to pull the Raptors back within three, but Tatum hit a floater on the ensuing possession to run the lead back to five. Lowry missed the ensuing shot and Siakam fouled out of the game on the ensuing scrum for the rebound. The Celtics held a five point lead with under a minute to go, and a pass and dunk to Horford sealed the game.
The Raptors got off to a hot start in the first quarter, leading the Celtics by seven early in the game. However, it was the Celtics that had a 30-27 led after single frame, mostly on the strength of a strong 12 points and three assists by Irving in the game’s opening stretches.
The Celtics frontcourt trio of Baynes, Morris, and Hayward ran rampant in the opening minutes of the 2nd quarter, scoring 14 point in under five minutes between the three of them and forcing a Toronto time out after the Celtics lead grew to 44-31. However, the Raptors responded out of the timeout with an 11-2 run, before a big three point jumper by Horford stopped the bleeding.
The Raptors ratcheted up the defensive intensity at the end of the 2nd quarter and held the Celtics to just three point over the last four minutes and nine seconds of the quarter, briefly taking the lead before the half ended 54-52.
The Raptors took control of the game in the 3rd quarter, riding their potent offense to a 78-70 lead over Gang Green with just two minutes and change left in the 3rd. However, the Celtics put together a furious rally to cut the Raptors lead to just four heading into the 4th quarter.
The Celtics will be back in action at TD Garden tomorrow night at 7:30 ET against the Jazz looking to avenge the loss they suffered at their hands last week.
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