BOSTON – In this battle of Eastern Conference heavyweights, there was a pretty good chance this wouldn’t be decided until the final few minutes of play.
It was indeed a late-game reversal of the earlier meeting between Boston and Toronto, with the Celtics – not the Raptors this time – executing down the stretch and escaping with a hard-fought 123-116 overtime win.
In their earlier matchup this season, Toronto pulled away with a 12-2 run to end the game.
On Friday, it was Boston (9-6) outscoring the Raptors (12-3) in the overtime session to get the victory.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s win over a Toronto team which has the best record in the East.
Kyrie Irving: He was having a good night through the first three quarters, with an efficient 20 points. But Irving took it to another level after that to finish with a season-high 43 points on 18-for-26 shooting in addition to dishing out 11 assists.
Kawhi Leonard: It’s rare that a player could dominate the action the way Leonard did, and still not be the best performance of the night. Still, that shouldn’t diminish the 31 points he scored on 11-for-25 shooting from the field.
Gordon Hayward: This was easily Hayward’s most complete game as a Celtic, contributing in a positive way at both ends of the floor. He finished with 15 points and five rebounds with five assists while playing a season-high 39 minutes.
Jayson Tatum: A slow start gave way to a furious finish for Tatum who tallied 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting after a rough 1-for-5 start from the field.
Serge Ibaka: Defense and scoring were major parts of Serge Ibaka’s game tonight, finishing with 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting but grabbing just four rebounds.
Kyle Lowry: The all-star was anything but that on Friday, tallying just 11 points on 3-for-12 shooting which include a dismal 1-for-6 shooting performance from 3-point range.
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