NBA: Celtics overpower flat Raptors to win East semis opener


Posted at Aug 31 2020 03:49 AM | Updated as of Aug 31 2020 04:49 AM

NBA: Celtics overpower flat Raptors to win East semis opener 1
Kemba Walker celebrates a 3-point basket in Game 1 of the Celtics-Raptors Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday (US time). Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images via AFP

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.

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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.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).