Game Rap: Raptors 104, Celtics 109
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
The Celtics made their free throws in crunch time to turn a one-point lead into a five-point victory. Boston completed the 109-104 comeback win by outscoring Toronto 32-19 in the fourth quarter behind a 19-point fourth quarter effort from Isaiah Thomas.
As expected, DeMar DeRozan did not suit up for Wednesday’s contest. Norman Powell started in his place for the second consecutive game alongside Kyle Lowry, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson and Jonas Valanciunas.
CLOSE TO START
The Raptors got off to a solid start in Boston despite not getting to their hotel until 2:45 A.M the night before. They opened the game firing on all cylinders as Toronto shot 59 percent the first quarter, to 42 percent for Boston. Although the Raptors shot much better than the Celtics, Boston’s five three-pointers kept them in the game along with a 16-point effort from Isaiah Thomas. Toronto led by two at the end of the first 12 minutes of action.
KEEPING THE DISTANCE
Toronto continued to find success from the floor, shooting 57 percent in the second quarter while holding Boston to just 33 percent shooting. Thomas cooled after that red-hot first quarter, scoring four points in the second. Kyle Lowry led Toronto offensively, scoring 10 points in the quarter as the Raptors outscored Boston 32-23 to take a 62-51 advantage into the halftime break. The Raptors had a balanced scoring effort in the first half, led by Lowry’s 12 points, 11 from Jared Sullinger off the bench, and 10 from Norman Powell.
Despite tired legs, the Raptors dug deep after the halftime break to keep pace with the Celtics. Although Toronto’s shooting percentage dropped to 47 percent, the Celtics shot 46 percent in the third, outscoring Toronto 26-23 to go into the fourth trailing the Raptors by single digits, 85-77. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with eight points in the third, while Lucas Nogueira added six off the bench.
The Raptors led for the first half of the fourth, but a 9-0 run from Isaiah Thomas brought the Celtics from eight down to ahead by one with 4:39 remaining. The run followed a double-technical called on Terry Rozier and DeMarre Carroll after Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown took offence to a standard foul from Kyle Lowry. The teams would trade baskets down the stretch before Thomas scored nine of Boston’s final 11 points to seal the comeback victory for the Celtics. Boston outscored Toronto 32-19 in the quarter as Thomas himself matched the Raptors’ fourth quarter output.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry had a team-high 32 points in 38 minutes. He shot 12-for-20 from the floor, 4-for-11 from beyond the arc and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. He added two rebounds, five assists and two steals as he did his best to try to lead the Raptors to a big road victory.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Lucas Nogueira had another solid night off the bench, scoring 10 points in 29 minutes to go along with tons of energy on the defensive end of the floor. He shot 3-for-4 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line while adding five rebounds a steal and four blocked shots. Jared Sullinger had a positive return to Boston, scoring 13 points off the bench in 16 minutes. Sullinger shot 5-for-8 from the floor, 1-for-3 from deep and 2-for-5 from the free throw line. He added six rebounds, and an assist.
THAT'S A RAP…
“I missed two huge free throws. That sucked. We just didn't do the things that we needed to do.. We didn't execute. We let their best player get 44 points, 19 in the fourth. It’s kind of hard to beat a team like that.”
- Kyle Lowry summing up a tough loss after leading through the first half
BY THE #’S
16…Turnovers for the Raptors leading to 22 points for the Celtics. In comparison Boston turned the ball over 10 times leading to just seven points scored by Toronto.
53…Toronto shot 53 percent in the game while Boston connected on 41 percent of its field goals.
14…Made free throws on 25 attempts for the Raptors (56 percent), compared to Boston’s 25 made free throws on 30 attempts (83 percent).
44…Points, seven assists, four rebounds for Boston’s Isaiah Thomas who shot 12-for-22 from the floor, 5-for-12 from three and 15-for-16 from the free throw line in 38 minutes.
THEY SAID IT…
“Like I always say, it’s a make or miss league, but it doesn’t always come own to the fourth quarter. We missed a lot of free throws, a lot of mistakes in the first half, even when we had the lead and those things add up for you and they bit you in the behind going in the fourth quarter. I thought our guys battled and I loved our fight, scrap. We’ve got to continue that, get everybody healthy, get guys off minutes restrictions and then we’ll go to war, but I liked our fight.”
- Dwane Casey on a hard fought game
“You can’t make excuses in this league, we know better than that. We just gotta find a way to win.”
- Jared Sullinger when asked if fatigue was a factor late
“They made a run in the third and just kept going and then Isaiah had 19 fourth quarter points.”
- Kyle Lowry on the turning point in the game
The Raptors head to Orlando to prepare for the Magic on Friday at 7 P.M. ET.