Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart each scored 21 points, and the Boston Celtics used a blistering start while capitalizing on an off shooting night by the Toronto Raptors to start their Eastern Conference semifinals series with a 112-94 win on Sunday (US time).
Both teams advanced to this stage after they swept their respective first-round assignments, but it was the Celtics who continued their unbeaten postseason run.
Smart set the tone for the Celtics offensively, scoring 10 points in the first quarter, as Boston raced to a 39-23 lead on the road to the wire-to-wire victory.
Kemba Walker added 18 points and 10 assists to go with 4 3-pointers, while Smart chipped in 5 triples for the Celtics, who routed the Raptors 122-100 the last time they met.
In another convincing win over the reigning champions, Boston shot 17 of 39 from the 3-point area (43.6%), while Toronto sputtered from downtown, making just 10 of 40 (25%).
Kyle Lowry, who had ankle issues entering this series, led Toronto with 17 points and 8 assists.
Fred VanVleet, who was lights out in the East first round, was 3 of 16 from the field, including 2 of 11 from behind the arc.
Pascal Siakam was cold from the floor, too, hitting 5 of 16 while missing all 3 3-point attempts.
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