Coming off the back of a dominant game 5 performance, Boston came out strongly in the first quarter behind Jaylen Brown who was stellar once more to start. After landing heavily on his back midway through the quarter Jaylen Brown, got up gingerly and required a back rub from the trainer. Brown had 11 first quarter points as Boston got out to a quick 25-21 lead. Marcus Smart was great also to start this one and hit a pair of triples.
Not letting up into the 2nd quarter Jaylen Brown, was working both outside and inside to fuel the Celtics and extend the lead behind this picture perfect finger roll extension.
The Boston bench have been very efficient and are averaging 19 points per game in the series. The work put in by both Robert Williams III and Brad Wanamaker was crucial as Boston held onto the lead despite a pair of back-to-back triples from Serge Ibaka. With a closeout game on the line Boston played the first half with the most defensive intensity that they have shown all series long.
The Celtics and Raptors have been evenly matched in the series and true to form the Raptors clawed back into the game after being down 12 points. Kyle Lowry fueled the charge for Toronto with 15 first half points and 2 three-pointers, for the C’s Jaylen Brown paced the team with 21. The half would end with Boston up by 4, 52-48.
The third-quarter woes and troubles continued for Boston and for Kemba Walker his first bucket would come at the 8 minute of the third quarter as he was cold to start the game as the Raptors would take the lead. Fred VanVleet hit on 9 points in a 30 second stretch as Toronto got cooking before Marc Gasol also got in on the action. Kyle Lowry’s third made three-pointer leading to a seven point lead for the Raps. With a momnetum shifting third quarter in the books for Toronto, Boston would trail 77-81 after three.
With the Raps and Celtics trading body blows, it seemed that neither team was going to give up. Toronto maintained the narrow lead for the quarter until the 1 minute 40 mark Boston climbed back into the epic contest as the scores were deadlocked 98. With both teams blowing attempts to win at the death, the score would stay 98-98 each and head into overtime.
In the overtime period, the physical scrappy affair would continue as both teams looked fatigued and would need to dig deep. Kemba Walker hit just his second shot on a made three-pointer of the game in overtime. However the Raptors matched right back and nabbed a two point lead with under a minute to go. A trademark ATO play for Jaylen Brown saw the UCLA product rotate on a backdoor lob and get fouled to square it up once more at 106 apiece as the teams went to a second OT.
In the second overtime stanza, several Celtics were up around 46+ minutes of play and they continued to push. A beautiful Jayson Tatum slam on the break and a backcourt turnover violation for Toronto saw the lead pivot to Boston. Daniel Theis was scrappy in the second OT getting into the key and grabbing a key offensive board and dunking on his way to 18 points and 7 rebounds. In an overtimne that had a bit of everything from Marcus Smart getting kneed in the groin, to players tight roping with fould trouble, every play seemed like it would shift the momentum before the oppoonents clawed back to shift everything once more.
The late game heroics would settle on the shoulders of firstly Marcus Smart who hit a big three pointer, before Norman Powell came right back and hit one of his own. It would be the unlikely Norman Powell though, whose 10 points in the second OT that would be the story of the game.
A massive turnaround jumper for Kyle Lowry with 11 seconds on the clock was almost the nail in the coffin. However in true never say die form, a late Jayson Tatum triple would see the Celtics have one last try behind Marcus Smart whose heave would rim out sadly for Celtics fans. Smart would end the game with a triple-double, 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, 6 made threes in a touch under 50 minutes of play, Jayson Tatum had 29 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists. Jaylen Brown who was a beast early in this one would lead the team with 31 points and 16 rebounds in 51 minutes of play.
In a truly great series, both teams now head to a series finale and a Game 7 this Friday, 11th of September.