Quick Reaction: Celtics 132, Raptors 125

A valiant effort in Beantown comes up short.

TOR Raptors125Final
Box Score
132BOS Celtics

A. Baynes29 MIN, 13 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 6-9 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -11 +/-

It doesn’t have to look pretty to work, folks. In his Boston homecoming, Baynes launched a variety of shots that didn’t necessarily give you confidence they were going in, but most of them did. He hit a triple to open the night, rebounded very well and just happened to be in the right place at the right time more often than not on offense.`

N. Powell36 MIN, 25 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 7-17 FG, 4-10 3FG, 7-8 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -7 +/-

When bell rings, Norman Powell answers the call. With 3 of their top 5 guys sidelined, Norm feasted on the increase usage he saw in this game. Every time he touched leather, he was ready to make a move. Whether it was beating his defender baseline or pulling up for a three off a dribble move, he seemed to always make an impact when the balls in his hand. His pitfalls came on the defensive side of the ball, where he often found himself matched up against the likes our Tatum and Brown. Guess what, height and length matter in the NBA!

S. Johnson35 MIN, 14 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 5-10 FG, 4-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Stanimal was active in transition, with his perimeter defense and worked hard to get himself open in the 35 minutes he logged tonight. Initially he struggled to knockdown most of his open looks, but was able to find his groove in the second half.

D. Bembry19 MIN, 4 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 2-6 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, -11 +/-

Sergio went with Johnson and Davis in favour of playing Bembry heavy minutes in this contest, but he was still serviceable while he was on the floor. Making sound decisions, smart passes and understanding when to push the pace have been Bembry’s calling card this season, and tonight was no different. He was just limited in the amount of time he could produce.

K. Lowry40 MIN, 14 PTS, 3 REB, 19 AST, 1 STL, 5-18 FG, 3-11 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, -7 +/-

Lowry struggled to score the basketball early on in this contest, but he more than made up for it with his play in other areas. Even on the second night of a back to back, he pushed the pace wire to wire, making Boston work on every defensive possession, got his hands in passing lanes and set his teammates up for success a whopping 19 times. A superb effort on a night where his team had every reason to roll over.

C. Boucher34 MIN, 30 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 11-15 FG, 5-9 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 2 +/-

It was one of those games for the most unique jump shot north of the border. Boucher was filling it up from the jump in Beantown, providing his depleted Raptors with a necessary scoring punch which kept them in a game many thought they had no business being in. He really seemed to take his time on offense tonight, which ultimately resulted in great decisions and buckets for his team. Make that a 30-piece bucket on the road for Montreal’s finest.

T. Davis31 MIN, 22 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 8-14 FG, 3-8 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

Did a super job of creating and his open looks on Thursday night. He was part of the mob of bench players that stepped outside of their typical roles, in order to communally contribute to their team’s offense scoring 22 points on the night. TD would’ve closed out the game too, if it weren’t for a hard fall that sent him limping back to the locker room in the final minute of play.

P. Watson12 MIN, 3 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

Elementary my dear Watson! Watson Jr. took advantage of the opportunity provided to him on Thursday night. In 12 minutes of action (12 more than he normally gets) he played excellent perimeter D on Boston’s wings and chipped in a long bomb. Great to see him get some run in the NBA.

Things We Saw

  1. Sergio Scariolo employed the rather bold strategy of sticking with a lean 8 man rotation on the second night of a back to back, in a game where his team was missing 3 starters. And it worked – for 2 quarters. Toronto just did not seem to have their legs under them in the second half, and let this game slip away from them in the third, behind 7 turnovers in that quarter alone.
  2. Kyle Lowry posted a career high 19 assists in this one. Let it be yet another justification for his unquestioned status of the GROAT.
  3. The Toronto Raptors have had a lot of misfortune fall at their feet in the recent weeks. Between COVID-19 and Health & Safety protocols, this team was down 6 coaches and 3 starters before you could say Scariolo. Every professional basketball team benefits from the extended All Star break, but this group could really use a little siesta to regain their collective heath and mojo.