Blake Griffin, Jaylen Brown and Derrick White are all smiles during a win over the Toronto Raptors

Keys to the Game: Celtics 116, Raptors 110

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

Boston covered more than half of the third quarter Monday night in Toronto with a 23-7 run that spurred yet another notch in the win column.

The Celtics trailed by eight points after Pascal Siakam dropped in a driving hook shot to open the third period, but they then responded in a big way to take control of the game heading into the fourth quarter. Four Celtics combined to score those 23 points while the team shot 8-for-11 from the field overall.

Jaylen Brown initiated the run with four straight points, two of which came off a jumper, and two of which were scored from the free-throw line. Jayson Tatum and Derrick White then combined to score Boston’s next 11 points before Brown threw down a reverse dunk off a nifty pass from Marcus Smart. Tatum and Smart closed out the run with back-to-back 3-pointers to push Boston ahead 79-71 at the 5:12 mark of the quarter.

Smart accounted for three assists during the spurt.

The Celtics continued to dominate the rest of the frame, thanks in large part to Tatum’s 17 points during the quarter, and carried an 11-point lead into the fourth. While Toronto did string together a late run to make it interesting, Boston responded with just enough plays down the stretch to seal another victory.

Key Player

Bet you didn’t expect to see Blake Griffin in our Key Box Score Line section heading into tonight’s game. But that’s where we find ourselves after his fantastic performance in Toronto.

Griffin, who had logged less than 29 total minutes of action over the previous 22 days combined, played more than 32 Monday night during a spot start in place of Al Horford. All he did during those minutes was compile 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, two assists and a steal.

It wasn’t only the tangibles that stood out during this game, either. The intangibles truly shined bright.

Griffin’s fingerprints were all over the game, from his screen-setting, to his hustle and effort, to his unselfish ball movement. He was unquestionably one of the most important elements of this victory for Boston.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston committed only two turnovers during the second half, and 11 overall, during the win.
  • Jayson Tatum notched another 30-point double-double with 31 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
  • All eight Celtics who appeared in the game scored at least five points.
  • The C's notched 27 assists, compared to Toronto's 19.
  • Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
  • Jaylen Brown led Boston with eight assists and also tallied 22 points and eight rebounds.
  • In a spot start, Blake Griffin totaled 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal.
  • Luke Kornet came off of Boston's bench to total 11 points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot during 15-plus minutes of action.
  • Both teams led by double-digits during the contest.

Quote of the Night

"Give a lot of credit to Blake, man. Blake played his ass off tonight."

- Jayson Tatum on Blake Griffin's performance as a spot starter