Jayson Tatum scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics made enough free throws in the end game to beat the Toronto Raptors 92-87 on Friday (US time) in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Jaylen Brown added 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals for Boston, which ousted the defending champions and set up an East finals duel with Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat.
Boston, which raced to a 19-7 lead, needed to grind out the victory against a Toronto team that fought until the end.
After the Raptors drew close, the Celtics grew their lead to 88-78 with less than 5 minutes in the game.
But 7 points courtesy of Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam made it 89-87 with 80 seconds left.
Both sides then turned in empty possessions, until Tatum split his free throws.
Toronto had an opportunity to tie, but Fred VanVleet's 3-point attempt missed. Kemba Walker made victory certain with 2 free throws.
It was an ugly shooting night for the 2 teams, who had played every other day the past week after they swept their respective first-round series.
VanVleet scored 20 points and had 4 3-pointers, while Lowry, who was phenomenal in Toronto's Game 6 win, settled for 16 points before fouling out with 35 seconds remaining.
NBA, 2020 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Lowry