Celtics

Stars, studs and duds: DeRozan can't convert 'great look' for game-winner

Stars, studs and duds: DeRozan can't convert 'great look' for game-winner

BOSTON – This has been a charmed run that the Boston Celtics are on, the kind of run where victories almost seem like an act of destiny in how improbable they come about.

Take Sunday’s 95-94 win over the Toronto Raptors which extended Boston’s winning streak to 12 in a row.

The Raptors had a chance to win the game with DeMar DeRozan, being defended by Jaylen Brown at the time, used his dribble to create enough space to get off the shot that he wanted.

It came up short.

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The missed shot came right into the hands of Serge Ibaka who, for whatever reason, could not corral the loose ball and put it back up.

DeRozan described the shot as a “great look” before adding, “I make that in my sleep. Felt good, I thought it was going to roll in but it didn’t.”

Said Toronto head coach Dwane Casey: “I thought it was a great look, he shook him, he was wide open, vaulted up, and I’ll take that shot 999 times out of 1000. Came up short on it, he got to where he wanted to go with the basketball, we got him open, play was well executed by everybody; guy just missed a shot. I’ll take that shot all day, our best player taking the shot he wants at the right time.”

While DeRozan did create enough space to get the shot off, it was still well-defended by Jaylen Brown whose defense forced DeRozan to miss a number of shots on Sunday.

Brown is used to tough defensive assignments, but is quick to mention DeRozan being an extremely challenging scorer to contain.

“Easier said than done,” Brown said. “He’ll pump-fake and pump-fake until he gets you off your feet. I’m thinking like, ‘he’s gotta be shooting one of these (expletive). But he’ll keep pump-faking and pump-faking. You have to do a good enough job of staying down.”

And in doing so, Brown’s defense lifted the Celtics up to yet another victory.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 95-94 win over Toronto which extended the Celtics winning streak which now stands at 12.

 

STARS

Al Horford

Easily the star of the game, Horford returned to the lineup after missing the last two games while being in the league’s concussion protocol program. He led the Celtics with 21 points on an extremely efficient 8-for-9 shooting to go with four assists, three rebounds and two steals.

DeMar DeRozan

Even though he missed the potential game-winner for Toronto, DeRozan was once again Toronto’s best option offensively. He led all scorers with 24 points but did so on 8-for-22 shooting.

 

STUDS

Terry Rozier

Big shots at the end of the second and third quarters were just part of a special game for Rozier. He finished with 16 points to go with six rebounds, three assists and one steal.

Jaylen Brown

His play at both ends of the floor really set the tone for the Celtics, showing a high level of aggression scoring the ball as well as defending DeRozan. He tallied 18 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go with three assists and two steals.

Kyle Lowry

Had a strong first half but really tailed off in the second which is when he scored just five of his 19 points. Lowry also had seven assists and a steal.

Jayson Tatum

The 6-foot-8 rookie continues to play at a level that’s way, way ahead of where someone so young be at right now in their NBA development. He had 13 points but did most of his work in the fourth quarter which is when he tallied six points along with five of his seven rebounds for the game.

C.J. Miles

Other than the insane ankle-breaking move that Shane Larkin put on him, Miles had a pretty good game for the Raptors. He had 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting with a plus/minus of +17.

 

DUDS

Shane Larkin

Coming off a season-high 16 points in Boston’s win over Charlotte on Friday, Larkin could not deliver anything even close to what he did on that night. Against the Raptors, he was scoreless while missing all six of his shot attempts.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Celtics one win away from the NBA Finals

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NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Celtics one win away from the NBA Finals

1:22 - Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn break down the Celtics big Game 5 win over the Cavaliers, and discuss what they think the keys are for the Celtics to get a win on the road and end the series in game 6.

6:03 - The Celtics were able to hold LeBron James to 26 points in game 5, Brian Scalabrine and Kyle Draper break down what they saw the Celtics do to slow down LeBron, and how they can build off that to finish the series.

10:06 - Gary Tanguay, Mike Giardi and Chris Gasper discuss Robert Kraft’s comments about Tom Brady’s absence at Patriots OTAs. 

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Tatum delivers with 24 points for C's in pivotal Game 5

Tatum delivers with 24 points for C's in pivotal Game 5

BOSTON – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 96-83 Game 5 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

STARS

Jayson Tatum: Once again Jayson Tatum delivered one of those “I can’t believe he’s a rookie!” performances for the Celtics. In addition to scoring a team-high 24 points, Tatum also had seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots – the only rookie in the last 55 postseasons to register that many rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots in a playoff game. Yeah, he was that good, people!

LeBron James: This was yet another game in which LeBron James got little support from those around him. He finished with a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five assists. 

Celtics fans: They have truly been the X-factor in Boston’s favor every time this team has stepped on the floor during this postseason. Boston has now won 10 in a row at home during the playoffs, the longest winning streak by the franchise since 1986.  

 

STUDS

Al Horford: His activity around the rim was at a level Boston absolutely had to have if they were to win this game. He finished with his seventh double-double of this postseason, with 15 points and 12 rebounds which factored into him having a game-high plus/minus of +22.

Aron Baynes: He didn’t deliver stud-like numbers (six points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots), but there was no mistaking his presence was a huge, huge factor in the game’s outcome. 

Marcus Smart: There weren’t a bunch of highlight-worthy plays made by Smart, but his overall play defensively along with some really clutch baskets made for a strong, all-around night for Smart who tallied 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting along with four rebounds and four assists without a single turnover.

 

DUDS

Cavs backcourt: J.R. Smith and George Hill were once again non-factors for Cleveland. They combined to score nine points on Wednesday while missing nine of their 11 shot attempts.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE