The Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors in seven games in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. The Raptors fought hard in the series, but the Celtics were able to close out the series and send the defending champions home. Here is the series recap.
Game 1: Celtics (W) 112-94
In the opening game between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics, the first quarter was the deciding factor for the rest of the game. The Celtics outscored the Raptors 39-23, and the Raptors could not bounce back, despite winning the third quarter and staying close behind in quarters two and four. Many Raptor fans viewed this as the real annual playoff game 1 loss, since they had swept the Brooklyn Nets. This was definitely a blowout game for the Celtics, and the Raptors did not look like themselves.
The Celtics shot 47 per cent while the Raptors shot a low 36.9 per cent. This was the biggest problem, the Raptors were simply not making shots on opportunities. They tried to resort to shooting threes instead of driving into the paint, and as a result, they only shot 25 per cent from three. On the other hand, the Celtics had a good shooting night, with their three point percentage standing at 43.6 per cent. If the Raptors wanted to push the Celtics, they needed to make some adjustments for game 2.
Game 2: Celtics (W) 102-99
Although this was not a blowout game, it was very frustrating for Raptors fans. One astonishing stat from this game was that in the first 24 minutes of play, the Raptors had ZERO fouls called for them. They ended up having the same amount of free throws as Jayson Tatum, which Nick Nurse heavily criticized.
“The only frustrating part about it is this,” Nurse said. “He shoots 14 free throws, which is as much as our whole team shoots – that’s the frustrating part.”
Despite this, the Raptors had a 12 point lead going into the fourth quarter. Be that as it may, the Raptors gave up their lead in a bad scoring stretch. They got outscored by the Celtics 21-32 in the fourth quarter, and couldn’t perform in crunch time.
Even though the Raptors did a better job containing Theis in the paint, Tatum had himself a game, scoring 34 points, with 14 of them from behind the free throw line. The Celtics came away with this one, and the Raptors found themselves in the same situation as last year, down 0-2.
Game 3: Raptors (W) 104-103
In what was probably the most exciting game of the series, OG Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors hit the game winning buzzer beater to put the Raptors on the board. With such an amazing pass from Kyle Lowry, this is definitely one of the top plays of this year’s playoffs, similar to Kawhi’s buzzer beater from last year. It’s so good that instead of outlining this game, I’m just going to put the clip + a couple of the best reactions from both Raptors and Celtics fans.
Game 4: Raptors (W) 100-93
In a game where the Raptors finally looked like themselves, Siakam bounced back. He led the team with 23 points and looked more sure of himself. The third quarter was the defining moment for the Raptors, as they outscored the Celtics 32-24. Jayson Tatum continued to be the leader, but it was not enough.
Game 5: Celtics (W) 111-89
Watching this game was very painful for all the Raptors fans out there. In a game where they should have taken advantage of their momentum, time stood still for the Toronto Raptors. The Celtics were too much for the Raptors in the first half, and fans could do nothing but look away.
Game 6: Raptors (W) 125-122
On the brink of elimination, the Raptors fought hard to win the game in overtime. Barely scraping by, they won the game by three points. This gave a great sense of hope for the team as well as the fans. In an exciting series, the fate of both teams would be decided in a game 7.
Game 7: Celtics (W) 92-87
In the final game of this series, it came down to the final moments. The Raptors turned the ball over too many times, and it hurt them in the final stretch. Despite the loss, it was an impressive fight from the Raptors. They struggled in this series, but still managed to push this Boston team to seven games and only lose by five points.