NBA: Celtics edge Raptors to go up 2-0 in East semis


Posted at Sep 02 2020 08:19 AM | Updated as of Sep 02 2020 08:59 AM

Jayson Tatum scored 34 points and Marcus Smart found his groove from downtown in the fourth quarter, as the Boston Celtics rallied from 12 points down in the second half to beat the Toronto Raptors 102-99 Tuesday (US time) to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinals series. 

A free throw by Pascal Siakam capped an 11-0 run to give the Raptors a 78-66 lead late in the third quarter. 

But Smart caught fire in the fourth, burying 5 3-pointers and scoring 16 of his 19 points in the quarter to put Toronto back on its heels.

Then Kemba Walker, who had struggled in the first 3 quarters from the field, scored 4 straight points that launched a 9-0 run to put Boston up 95-87 with 4:18 on the clock. 

Toronto made one more push to come to within 100-99 on two Kyle Lowry free throws, but Walker hit a jumper to give the Celtics some breathing space 102-99 with 41.6 seconds remaining.

The Celtics then thwarted the Raptors in the ensuing play when Smart denied Siakam on the drive, forcing a turnover to secure the win.

Walker finished with 17 points, while Tatum was 14 of 14 from the line for the Celtics, who are now 7-0 in the playoffs.

OG Anunoby scored 20 points to lead Toronto, Fred VanVleet chipped in 19 and Siakam 17.