Now … we have a series!
The Toronto Raptors, with their season all but dead, got a last-second reprieve when OG Anunoby drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired to lift Toronto to a 104-103 win.
Boston leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Games 4 and 5 on Saturday and Monday, respectively.
“We scrapped and fought,” Toronto’s Kyle Lowry told TNT’s Rebecca Haarlow after the game. “We never quit.”
This game had the look and feel of previous games between these two, with the Celtics doing just enough to get the win down the stretch.
It appeared Game 3 would be the latest chapter in that narrative when Kemba Walker passed to Daniel Theis for a dunk that put Boston ahead 103-101 with 0.5 seconds to play.
But after a Toronto time-out, the ball wound up on the opposite side of the court in Anunoby’s hands as he calmly raised up for a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.
Kyle Lowry: Toronto had one last stand to make in Game 3 and you have to give Lowry props for playing with a sense of urgency that the defending champions have shown little of against Boston. He would finish the game with 31points, 11 of which came in the first quarter. He also had eight assists and six rebounds.
Kemba Walker: The Raptors had no answer for Walker most of the game, particularly at the onset when he scored 17 of his team-high 29 points in the first quarter.
Jaylen Brown: No matter who the opponent, Brown has made a point of being among Boston’s most productive players. Game 3 was no exception with Brown tallying a double-double of 19 points and 12rebounds along with showing some serious defensive versatility.
Pascal Siakam: Spicy P once again found himself on the bench in the first half because of foul trouble, continuing a series-long stretch of struggles against Boston. But his play was one of the keys to Toronto getting back into the game in the second half as he finished with 16 points to go with seven rebounds.
OG Anunoby: Arguably the most consistent player for Toronto, Anunoby had another solid performance for the Raptors while delivering the biggest shot in the playoffs for them thus far this season. He tallied a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Jayson Tatum: You know you’ve reached superstar status when a 15-point, nine-rebound performance just isn’t good enough. Tatum was just 5-for-18 shooting from the field and never seemed to get into any kind of flow or rhythm offensively.
And his defense, which has been elite throughout the series, wasn’t bad. But much like his scoring and overall impact, it simply wasn’t enough from a player who thus far in this series has been the best player on the floor.
Toronto bench: Serge Ibaka and Norm Powell are essentially the bulk of Toronto’s bench, with neither doing much in Game 3. They came into this series averaging more than 35 points combined in the playoffs. But in Game 3, they had just 10 points among them on 4-for-10 shooting.