The Toronto-Boston matchup wasn’t even close … but now how most would have anticipated.
The Raptors have been arguably the best team in the Bubble since the NBA’s restart, but the surging Celtics proved their blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week was more than them just beating up a bad team.
They were locked in for as close to 48 minutes we’ve seen this season … until Friday night when Boston delivered the team’s most impressive win, a 122-100 thrashing of the defending NBA champion Raptors.
Boston finished with seven scorers in double figures, led by Jaylen Brown’s 20 points. Meanwhile, the Raptors got a team-high 13 points from Fred VanVleet.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Sunday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.
Brad Stevens: His players did their jobs and executed to near perfection at both ends of the floor. But Stevens deserves his share of the credit for putting his players in the absolute best positions to be successful against a Toronto team that has been a dominant force during the league restart.
Jaylen Brown: If there was a Bubble Team MVP award, a strong case could be made for Jaylen Brown being the Celtics’ choice. He continues to score at an elite level, finishing with a game-high 20 points against the Raptors on 7-for-14 shooting with six rebounds.
Kemba Walker: He continues to play at a highly efficient level in limited minutes. On Friday, his lack of minutes had more to do with the lopsided nature of the game. Walker had 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting.
Celtics defense: The final score didn’t do justice to how Boston absolutely dominated this game with a lead that peaked at 40 points. Boston kept all of Toronto’s big guns offensively in check as the Raptors’ Big Three of Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet combined for 35 points on 12-for-35 shooting from the field.
There was no one who gave them anything of significance on the floor. And while there were some backups who put up good numbers in garbage minutes, that won’t diminish the dominance Boston displayed over Toronto as Boston won the head-to-head season series with the win.