Even down, Boston scored another win in Toronto
The leadoff schedule for this poster between two teams in the same Division, still orphaned Jayson Tatum and injured Fred VanVleet. In their absence, willy-nilly, Jaylen Brown (27 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) and Pascal Siakam (29 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists) saw their offensive responsibilities increase and played a nice duel on this side of the field.
Nevertheless, they are Malcolm Brogdon (23 points), Payton Pritchard (12 points) and above all Grant Williams (25 points, new career high) who did his best in the game, assists The Celtics to take from Raptors (106-104). Especially with a crucial interception from Al Horford on the last possession that got ahead of Pascal Siakam.
The ninth success of the players in a row Boston went with the guts, recovered from a ten-point deficit in the second half, benefited from better 3-point shooting and managed the most important possessions better, winning. Torontonot without pain.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
— Boston knows how to suffer. The best team in the league has the resources and continues to show it day in and day out. Despite injuries and absences, the Celtics struggled to win in Canada behind the bench and Jaylen Brown. For this, they could count on 3 points (16 free-throw baskets, against 7) great success and excellent mastery in hot moments (run away to leave in the final act from 11-4). The C’s, who can round up when they’re down and thus score in shots, proved why they sit atop the NBA.
— Toronto likes to make life difficult. In a three-game losing streak, the Raptors lost to the Bucks, who were without Cannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, the Wolves, who were without Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, and the Celtics, who were without Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III. Frustrating results for this team that is capable of great things but is too disorganized and awkward to be seen in the top 10 in the East. At the end of the match or to get the upper hand, the mistakes are repeated, nothing is corrected and the approach trade deadline not sure…
✅ Brogdon/Williams/Pritchard trio. What a valuable and welcome contribution by three Boston substitutes! To make up for their team’s physical deficiencies, Malcolm Brogdon, Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard stepped up their game, especially with 11 3-pointers! Special mention goes to Pritchard, the author of all his ideas in the final act, for keeping the C’s in check forever. As for Brogdon and Williams, they stood out in the first three quarters in particular, helping the Celtics keep the momentum going and not sink when the Raptors took over.
✅ Pascal Siakam. Gary Trent Jr. (22 points) or even the Cameroonian interior, well supported by Precious Achiuwa (17 points, 11 rebounds), was often the most prominent on the Raptors side. Everywhere in scoring, defense and creation, he has carried the team on his shoulders in the absence of Fred VanVleet, who has assumed the role of master of the Canadian franchise, where everything goes offensively. Boss match, despite losing 3-pts (0/4) or possession (6 turnovers). Like on this last possession in front of Al Horford, who was deadly in Toronto…
⛔ Wounds. The Celtics, already without Jayson Tatum, who was rested to rest his wrist after overtime against Golden State, had Marcus Smart (ankle) and Robert Williams III (knee) leave in the first round as rewards. It wasn’t all hospital-level joy on the Raptors side either, as Fred VanVleet (ribs) was ruled out for the game, while OG Anunoby (ankle) had to leave early in the second half. . More concerns for Joe Mazzulla and Nick Nurse as they draft their rotations…
⛔ Toronto bench. Illustrated by the Malcolm Brogdon – Robert Williams III tandem, as well as Payton Pritchard’s 3-point shooting, the advantage of the Celtics’ replacements was clear: 62-14 points! Accustomed to stiffening his rotation, Nick Nurse probably shouldn’t have bothered to do so this time around, given that neither Thaddeus Young, Chris Boucher, Juancho Hernangomez or Malachi Flynn have contributed enough. So Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr, Scottie Barnes or Precious Achiuwa still get significant playing time…
Toronto (20-27) : Back-to-back vs. New York, Sunday through Monday night (12:00 p.m.).
Boston (35-12) : Visit Orlando, Monday through Tuesday night (01:00).