It was a very Merry Christmas for the Boston Celtics, as they went to Toronto and blew out the Raptors 118-102. Jaylen Brown went off in the third quarter, when he scored 16 of his 30 points, as Boston took control of the game. The Raptors started the game on a 10-0 run before the Celtics hit back with a 9-0 run of their own, which helped key a 26-point turnaround for the afternoon.
Brown’s big day was supplemented by 22 points from Kemba Walker, who played in his first Christmas Day game. Gordon Hayward returned and played his usual solid all-around game with 14 points, five rebounds and six assists. Brown, Walker and Hayward playing solid was big, because Jayson Tatum had an off night with 11 points on only 5-of-18 from the floor.
The Raptors are incredibly banged up and were missing starting big men Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol, and key rotation player Noman Powell. The Celtics were able to take advantage of the missing bigs, as Enes Kanter finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Daniel Theis added 13 points and six rebounds himself. As a team, Boston grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, which added to their 50% shooting night.
Toronto was led in scoring by their starting backcourt of Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry with 27 and 14 points respectively. Chris Boucher did a good job off the bench as a reserve big with 24 points and six rebounds of his own.
The win improved the Celtics to 2-0 against the division rival Raptors on the season, and boosted Boston’s overall record to 21-7. The Celtics will play next on Friday afternoon against the Cleveland Cavaliers back at home in Boston. Please note: due to the holidays, this game has a special 4:00 PM EST start time.