Boston Celtics 78-96 Toronto Raptors: 5 talking points

Erica Murray
April 8, 2018

LeBron James scored 27 points, the last coming on a sensational layup, and the Cleveland Cavaliers gave the Toronto Raptors another reminder of what could lie ahead in the playoffs with a 112-106 victory on Tuesday night. "But right now, we're playing good ball and we want to try to continue that".

The game could go a long way toward determining who will finish first in the Eastern Conference.

The usual regular season caveats apply as the Raptors get set to face their two East rivals in back-to-back games this week. That's what Casey did after dropping the first meeting of the season in Boston, which allowed his team to win by 20 at home a few months later.

"Every single one of them is extremely important", said DeRozan. We get Blake, we became a totally different team.

He finished with 27 points, six assists and 10 rebounds, picking part the Raptors defence as he does to almost every opponent.

Toronto is infamous for shrinking in the postseason.

"Everyone in this room has stepped up since Joel went down, and we know we're capable of winning games without him", Australian guard Ben Simmons said.

"It is great", Calderon said of contributing to a team with championship aspirations. That's what great teams do, what great coaches do, they adjust.

They have a huge comeback to get the number one seed over the Cavaliers a year ago, and the Celtics have been playing better, despite so many Injuries, than the Raptors right now.

Let's work backwards and start with Wednesday's rematch against the Celtics - the second leg of this back-to-back and Toronto's biggest game of the (regular) season.

The Celtics were hoping that the return of Terry Rozier, who missed his first game of the season Tuesday in Milwaukee because of an ankle injury, would stabilize the point guard position after the team was forced to start G League two-way player Kadeem Allen there against the Bucks.

Toronto has been struggling as the playoffs creep closer and closer in their rearview mirror, but Burke believes they will be fine and is impressed that Masai Ujiri's desire for "culture change" actually came to fruition.

Lowry scored 13 points as the Raptors earned a split in the season series and clinched the tiebreaker over Boston, based on each team's record in conference play.

After making eight of 19 field goal attempts in the first quarter, Boston shot 5 for 18 in the second and 5 for 19 in the third.

The Raptors had five losses in their past 10 heading into the contest, including a 110-90 defeat in Boston on Sunday.

According to the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy, the National Basketball Association will not fine Celtics' forward Marcus Morris for his referee butt slap, in the team's recent matchup with the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors have now dropped nine of their last 10 games in Cleveland, playoffs included, and you can bet they're aware of it.

Both teams head into Thursday's matchup looking to bounce back from road losses the previous night. "We're trying to do something special". The Raptors didn't quit and scored eight points in 34 seconds before the Cavs put it away with four free throws.

A one-handed slam dunk by Serge Ibaka with 5:14 left in the game brought the sell-out crowd of 19,963 at Air Canada Centre to its feet and made it 85-70.

Other reports by Insurance News

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