The Raptors beat the Celtics and Boston is still chasing Toronto as the next best team in the East. The Raptors defeated the Celtics, 114-106 in Toronto to retain second place in the team standings led by DeMar DeRozan’s 41 points.
The Raptors (25-13) and the Celtics (23-15) are the second and third place in the East. The Cleveland Cavaliers are still kings of the conference with a 28-9 record, despite a loss to the Utah Jazz also on Tuesday.
DeRozan was scorching for 16-of-29 shots versus the Celtics and also added 13 rebounds and two steals. Backcourt mate Kyle Lowry had 24 points and 9 assists for a Toronto team that was coming off back-to-back losses (Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls).
Valanciunas monster effort off the boards
DeRozan credited teammate Jonas Valanciunas for his effort against the Celtics. The Lithuanian big man finished with 18 points and a career-high 23 rebounds.
“He had some sticky stuff on his hands today, so he caught everything that came off the rim,” DeRozan said post-game via ESPN. “He gave us the opportunity to have those possessions and get back in the game.”
The Celtics entered the matchup in Canada wanting to extend a four-game winning streak. But they were outplayed and outscored in the fourth, 34-22 despite entering the final quarter with an 84-80 advantage.
Boston was still in control mid-way through the fourth holding a 100-93 lead. But the Raptors unleashed a 21-6 run to end the game and improved their home record to 13-6 this season.
The Celtics were led by Isaiah Thomas, who continued his good run this season with 27 points and 7 assists. Marcus Smart also had a good all-around game of 16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Al Horford added 14 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.
But DeRozan and Lowry took over in the end game. Boston’s defense faltered late and they couldn’t steal the road win against their East rivals.
Photo Courtesy: Mark Runyon/Creative Commons