The Boston Celtics, courtesy of some red-hot shooting in the second quarter, were able to rally from an early deficit and lead Toronto 55-46 at the half.
Two of the league’s better teams offensively got off to a surprisingly slow start scoring the ball in the first quarter which ended with the Raptors ahead 23-18.
Both teams picked up their play offensively in the second quarter which was good for the Celtics who went on a 7-0 run that put them ahead 49-43 – their biggest lead of the game – with 2:31to play in the half.
After a Toronto time-out, the Celtics continued to surge ahead after a lay-up by Marcus Smart following a breakaway dunk by Jae Crowder which gave Boston its first double-digit lead, 53-43.
The Celtics shot 52.2 percent in the first half, fueled heavily by a second quarter in which they connected on 66.7 percent (16-for-24) of their shots.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game.
He was playing his usual pesky defense for the Celtics, in addition to bringing some much-needed offensive punch. He led the Celtics with 14 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan
These two deserve their own line because 1) their impact is pretty much the same for the Raptors and 2) they each had the same point total in the first half. They each scored 10 points, but DeRozan had four rebounds while Lowry chipped in with an additional five assists.
Once again Green was delivering instant offense to the Celtics, scoring nine points off the bench in under 12 minutes of court time.
Toronto was intent on getting the ball out of Thomas’ hands as much as possible. He still made an impact in the first half, scoring nine points while dishing out three assists.
Foul trouble (he had three in the first half) limited him from being even more impactful. Still, he managed to score six points to go with 10 rebounds.
He’s usually a Celtics killer, but has been a non-factor in the first half. He was scoreless, missing both of his field goal attempts which were each 3-pointers.