Celtics

Celtics keep on finding ways to win, earn sixth-straight victory vs Raptors

Celtics keep on finding ways to win, earn sixth-straight victory vs Raptors

BOSTON – For most of Saturday’s game, neither Boston or Toronto could pull away and take control of the game. 

But when it mattered, the Celtics did what we’ve seen them do a lot lately – find a way to win.

The Celtics closed out the game with a 16-5 run to knock off the Toronto Raptors 110-99.

“We got stagnant, missed a couple shots, we started putting them on the line,” Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan told reporters after the loss. “They gained momentum and they took off.” 

Boston (53-23) has now won six in a row, cutting Toronto’s lead in the East down to just two games. 

If the Celtics win their next game at Milwaukee and the Raptors drop their next game at Cleveland, these two teams face each other on Wednesday with first place in the Eastern Conference at stake. 

Boston has continued to find ways to win with a cut-and-paste lineup, with contributions coming from any and all Celtics who stepped on the floor. 

“This is gonna be our group at the start of the playoffs,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. 

And while it may not be the group Boston was banking on, they’ve proven they are indeed up to the challenge. 

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 110-99 win over the Toronto Raptors. 

 

STARS

Jayson Tatum: The rookie had yet another coming-of-age performance on Saturday, scoring 24 points for the Celtics – 18 of which came in the second half. 

DeMar DeRozan: The four-time all-star did all he could to keep the Raptors afloat for most of the game. He led all scorers with 32 points, but Boston’s defense made him a non-factor in the fourth quarter by limiting him to just four points. 

Marcus Morris: Once again it was Marcus Morris delivering in a big way at both ends of the floor. In addition to scoring a team-high 25 points, Morris also came up with a slew of defensive plays including a late-game block of fellow Philly native Kyle Lowry. 

 

STUDS

Terry Rozier: Scary Terry was doing what he does well of late, which is to stay on the attack offensively and be a solid defender. Rozier finished with 21 points and seven assists with just one turnover.

Aron Baynes: The shot-making by Aron Baynes early on was huge for the Celtics, finishing with a pair of 3-pointers, his first with the Celtics, as part of a 12-point, 5-rebound, 3-assist performance. 

Jonas Valanciunas: He was a factor early on with his rebounding and physical play, finishing with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. 

Celtics zone defense: In the second half, Boston did a nice job of mixing it in with their man coverage which kept the Raptors off balance and was indeed a factor in Boston finishing with 19 points off of Toronto’s 15 turnovers. 

 

DUDS

Toronto bench: They came in ranked among the league’s top scoring units. But their impact was non-existent most of the game, totaling just 20 points on 7-for-25 shooting. 

Toronto turnovers: Toronto finished with 15 turnovers which isn’t too shabby … that is until you realize that seven came in the fourth quarter and factored heavily in Boston’s dominant showing in the fourth.

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Warriors become second team in NBA history to make five consecutive Finals since Bill Russell's Celtics

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Warriors become second team in NBA history to make five consecutive Finals since Bill Russell's Celtics

After sweeping the Blazers Monday night to advance to their fifth straight NBA Finals, they joined Bill Russell's Celtics as the only teams to make five in a row. 

The Warriors will look to win their fourth championship in five years and join an elite club of teams to complete a three-peat. 

From 1957-66, the Celtics won nine NBA titles, including a run of eight consecutive championships from 1959-66. The Warriors will have a tough time accomplishing that feat, but they are arguably the greatest dynasty since the Russell era. 

Along with their series win, the Warriors also passed the Bulls on the all-time list for Finals appearances for a single franchise with seven. The Lakers (31) and Celtics (21) are the only teams ahead of them. 

Golden State will await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Bucks and Raptors. Milwaukee currently holds a 2-1 series lead ahead of Game 4 in Toronto. 

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Dwyane Wade breaks silence on Paul Pierce debate, takes high road

Dwyane Wade breaks silence on Paul Pierce debate, takes high road

Everyone seemed to have a take on the Paul Pierce vs Dwyane Wade debate, except Wade himself. 

On Sunday night, the Miami guard finally broke his silence in response to a fan on Twitter. 

The debate started when Pierce claimed he had a better career than Wade towards the end of his final season in the NBA. Intense internet debate followed, while most fans did their best to tear down the accomplishments of either player. 

Pierce said the debate didn't bother him, but former teammate of both players, Ray Allen, was disappointed with how it manifested because it allowed people to take away from what Piere accomplished in his career. 

Wade seemed to take the high road with his response, so hopefully, that puts an end to all of the madness. Both players will be first-ballot Hall of Famers, and their rivalry proved to shape the landscape of what the NBA is today. 

Unfortunately for some, one of them has to be overrated for the other's status to be solidified. 

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