Boston Celtics 112, Toronto Raptors 106
The Toronto Raptors haven’t been a side that are used to losing games recently, but they suffered their first defeat of the season on Friday evening in Boston when they fell to the Celtics.
Kemba Walker recovered from a second straight poor shooting start to score 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and help the Celtics rally to beat the defending NBA champions 112-106.
Jaylen Brown had 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the closing minutes. Jayson Tatum finished with 25 points and nine rebounds.
Pascal Siakam scored 33 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Raptors, who went 18 of 36 from the 3-point line. Kyle Lowry finished with 29 points, including six 3-pointers. But the pair also had nine turnovers between them.
Siakam said teams are playing him differently through two games.
“There’s more help, obviously,” he said. “Last year, I felt like I was always out there on the side just working. Now there’s a little more intention.”
There were 12 ties and 19 lead changes, with neither team holding more than a seven-point lead.
Boston found its shot in the fourth quarter, outscoring Toronto 36-24.
One of the plays that got the Celtics going came with 5:43 to play. Brown corralled a Marc Gasol miss, took two dribbles and threaded a half-court bounce pass between three Raptors defenders to a cutting Gordon Hayward for a layup to give the Celtics a 99-98 lead.
O.G. Anunoby was called for a charge on Walker with 1:26 left, which was challenged by the Raptors. But after a review, the call was upheld.
Boston got a shot-clock violation on its next trip down the floor, but Lowry turned it over on Toronto’s ensuing possession when his one-handed pass along the baseline sailed out of bounds with 45 seconds remaining.
The Celtics closed out the final 9:07 of regulation on a 30-17 run.
Coming off a 34-point game in Toronto’s season-opening win over New Orleans on Tuesday, Siakam also started slow. He missed his first four shots and was scoreless in the first period before he got a finger roll to fall just before halftime.