Game Rap: Huskies 114, Celtics 106
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Jonas Valanciunas blocked a layup attempt from Isaiah Thomas leading to a DeMar DeRozan jumper to put Toronto ahead by six with 1:04 remaining. On Boston’s next possession, Valanciunas again came away with the blocked shot and then followed up his own miss to extend Toronto’s lead to eight with 33.7 seconds on the clock. With the scored tied at 104 with 2:23 remaining, the Raptors closed the game on a 10-2 run to collect a 114-106 victory against the Celtics and snap a two-game losing streak.
One game after Patrick Patterson returned from a four-game absence with a strained left knee he found himself in the starting lineup. He joined Jonas Valanciunas, DeMarre Carroll, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in his first start of the season. Despite the start, Patterson played just 21 minutes, with Dwane Casey saying after the game that he is still on a minutes restriction.
STARTING OFF STRONG
Despite the late flight back from Chicago on Saturday night, the Raptors were ready when the ball went up on Sunday evening. Jumping out to a quick lead, the Raptors finished the first quarter on a 14-4 run to take a 10-point lead. Toronto shot 61 percent over the opening 12 minutes, holding the Rockets to 41 percent shooting. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 13 points.
TALE OF TWO QUARTERS/h4>
The Raptors didn’t exactly get off to a solid scoring start on Tuesday, but thanks to a combination of their defence and Boston’s own shooting woes, Toronto led 23-18 after the first quarter. With both teams shooting below 40 percent and combining for nine turnovers, the opening 12 minutes weren’t pretty. Things warmed up in the second quarter with Toronto shooting 53 percent and the Celtics shooting a blistering 67 percent (making 16-of-24 field goals). Boston outscored Toronto 37-23 to take a nine-point lead into the half as Marcus Smart led all scorers with 14 points.
After being unable to slow the Celtics in the second quarter, things flipped in the third. Toronto shot 60 percent in the quarter, making 12-of-20 field goal attempts to outscore Boston 34-29 and use a late 12-4 run to trim a 12-point deficit to four heading into the fourth. DeMar DeRozan scored19 points in the quarter to go with seven rebounds as he had seven in that 12-4 run to narrow the gap.
CLOSING IT OUT
With DeMar DeRozan on the bench to start the fourth, the Celtics extended their lead to eight points before he re-entered the game. An Al Horford three made the Boston lead nine before a DeRozan pull-up jumper kicked off a Raptors flurry and a 13-4 run to tie the game at 104 with 2:23 remaining. After a pair of disappointing fourth quarters in their previous two losses, Toronto was rock solid down the stretch against the Celtics, closing the game on a 10-2 run. Most important, the Raptors were solid on both ends of the floor to close out the game, as they controlled the boards and defended under the basket with Jonas Valanciunas coming up with a pair of huge blocks to protect Toronto’s lead.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan had a sensational second half as he finished with 41 points and 13 rebounds in 38 minutes. He scored 31 of his points in the second half on 12-for-20 field goals. With the Celtics on the verge of blowing the game open, DeRozan’s 19-point third quarter kept Toronto close enough to allow their fourth quarter comeback. It was the third 40-point performance from DeRozan this season and it came on 16-for-29 shooting, including 1-for-2 from beyond the arc and 8-for-9 from the free throw line. The 13 rebounds were a career-high to go along with two steals. Toronto was a +19 when DeRozan was on the floor.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas had a huge night on the glass, pulling down a career-high 23 rebounds to go along with 18 points and two blocked shots. He played 28 minutes and shot 6-for-18 from the floor, but had 11 offensive rebounds to help the Raptors own a 17-6 edge on the glass after the team had been beaten up on the boards in recent games. His two blocks came on consecutive Celtics’ possessions with less than two minutes remaining.
THAT'S A RAP…
“Not willing to lose.”
- DeMar DeRozan explaining his career-high 13 rebounds
BY THE #’S
50…Rebounds for the Raptors, 33 for the Celtics. Toronto also held a 17-6 edge on the offensive glass behind a 23-rebound night from Jonas Valanciunas and a 13-rebound night from DeMar DeRozan.
24…Points, nine assists, four rebounds, two steals, one block for Kyle Lowry in 42 minutes of play.
18…Turnovers for Toronto leading to 25 points for the Celtics. Boston turned the ball over 15 times leading to 21 points for Toronto.
47…Both teams finished shooting 47 percent from the floor.
THEY SAID IT…
“He’s a tough kid. He didn’t grow up in Compton for nothing. He’s a tough kid. More than anything else – the 41 points is nice – but the 13 rebounds, 11 defensive rebounds when we needed it with Pat not being 100 percent, and they’re putting two guys on JV to keep him out, and DeMar came in and got some big rebounds, tough rebounds. That was impressive, that was more of a sign of grit and grime more than the 41 points.”
- Dwane Casey on DeMar DeRozan’s competitive fire
“Every game matters. Every game we’re trying to win. You’re not looking, oh, we lost two, now we’ve got to win. We’re not trying to put ourselves in that position where we lose two in a row. It’s a long season. Everything happens. We’re just playing to win the game. We’re playing this moment to win this game. Next game we’ll play to win next game.”
- Jonas Valanciunas on the team finding a way to avoid dropping three straight
“Yeah, especially with a team like Boston. That is their style of play. You got to give them a hell of a lot of credit. That is a talented team and they play extremely hard. They are right behind us so it was one those games - a division game - so many elements came into play and we definitely had to bring our A game and we did tonight.”
- DeMar DeRozan when told his coach described the physicality of the game as a bloodbath.
“Sometimes you get tired of getting beaten up. If you’re playing on the playground, at least when I was young, you get tired of getting beaten up by the bully and all at once you fought back. And that’s what we did. I thought our guys fought back.”
- Dwane Casey on his team matching Boston’s physicality
Up next: The homestand continues on Friday as the Raptors take on the Brooklyn Nets at 7:30 P.M. ET.