Celtics

Did Raptors irk Jaylen Brown, Celtics with free throw heckling?

Celtics

Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics were clearly ticked off after losing Game 6 to the Toronto Raptors in double overtime.

But it appears their frustrations were caused by more than just the final score.

In one of the higher-stakes moments of Wednesday's thriller, Brown went to the line with 18.9 seconds remaining in the first overtime needing to make both free throws to erase a 106-104 Toronto lead.

According to The Athletic's Sam Amick, that's when a heckling refrain of "Hey batter batter, hey batter batter..." broke out just as Brown was attempting his free throws.

"It’s hard to tell if it’s Raptors players or coaches — or both — who are singing that song," Amick wrote.

Forsberg: Celtics ready to embrace the 'challenge' of another Game 7

But the empty arena meant Brown and the Celtics heard those chants loud and clear.

"It clearly irked Brown and the Celtics," Amick wrote, adding that the sequence may have influenced Brown's terse postgame comments (in response to Nick Nurse potentially influencing a late Jayson Tatum turnover) about the Raptors needing to keep their players and coaches "in check."

"Let’s keep it respectable, and let’s keep playing basketball. Grown men should be able to control themselves, especially coaching staffs."

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Brown buried both free throws to force double overtime, but tensions rose on the court immediately after Toronto's 125-122 win as Marcus Smart shared some choice words for a crowd of Raptors players.

The events of Game 6 even led one Raptors staffer to predict postgame meetup in the Gran Destino Hotel, where the Celtics and Raptors are both staying in the NBA bubble.

 

"There’s gonna be a fight tonight (at the team hotel)," a member of the Raptors said, per Amick.

Amick reports that fight didn't happen (that we know of), but it's clear these teams are growing tired of each other entering Friday's winner-take-all Game 7.