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After an initial minute and a half, Toronto was no match for Boston, who defeated the Raptors 122-102 to take the season series, 5-1. After Toronto took a 4-2 lead (their only one of the night, which they held for all of 21 seconds), Boston rattled off two buckets to go up 9-4. Toronto closed in to 9-8, but the C’s made it 16-8 in quick fashion. Some quick play led the Raptors to eventually cut the lead back to one, 18-17, but again Boston had a good run to answer, with eight straight points. More of the same led Boston to a 34-22 lead after the 1st.
It was still difficult for either team to go shot for shot with the other, as each continued with streaks into the 2nd. But with 7:31 left in the half, that all changed. With three exceptions, the teams (with a good mixture of just about every scoring method you could imagine) traded score for score. The good news was each exception was Boston making consecutive scores. In between misses and turnovers, Boston pushed the lead all the way up to 67-45 at the half.
From there, the scoring stabilized. In fact, Toronto managed to squeak five points closer by the end of the 3rd. In the highest scoring quarter of the game, each team got contributions from many fronts. In between a few more mini stretches without points, the Raptors pushed the deficit back to 94-77 at quarter’s end.
The Raptors even pushed the deficit down to 12, but then the Cetlics put a dagger in the heart with 11 straight points of their own. The Raptors were never able to put together another meaningful run, and the Celtics kept beating back all attempts until the bell tolled for Toronto.
Betcha didn’t see that call coming. 17 points and 11 boards gave him the best all-around performance of the game.
Bradley missed both shots he took, racked up two turnovers, and was the only Celtic without a rebound. And without points.