The Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics met for the first time in the playoffs and it was certainly a battle to remember. This series had everything imaginable from blowouts, drama, and even a miracle. Here’s the playoff series recap for this matchup.
Series Recap: Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics
Raptor’s Offensive Struggles
The Raptors struggled offensively in the first two games of the series. They failed to reach 100 points in both of those games and didn’t shoot the ball well. The stellar Celtics defense played a part in their offensive struggles.
The Celtics took control of Game 1 early and never looked back. The Celtics had six players score in double figures in their balanced attack. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart led the team as they each scored 21 points. The most impressive thing about this victory is that the Celtics led the entire game.
After the blowout in Game 1, Game 2 went down to the wire. The Raptors had a lead after three quarters but the game changed when Smart hit five consecutive three-pointers in the fourth in a span of three minutes. Kemba Walker, who was struggling all night hit timely shots late in the fourth to give the Celtics a 2-0 lead. Fred VanVleet had a chance to send the game to overtime but failed to hit the difficult deep three over Tatum.
The Miracle that Gave the Raptors New Life
The momentum of this series shifted in Game 3 and gave the Raptors new life. This game also went down to the wire and the Raptors pulled off a miraculous play to make it a 2-1 series. The Raptors were down by two with 0.5 seconds left in the game and Lowry had to find a way to inbound the ball over the 7’5″ Tacko Fall. Lowry threw a beautiful pass beyond Fall’s outstretched arms and found a wide-open OG Anunoby who hit the game-winning three.
Game 4 was another close game, but whenever the Celtics tried to make a run, the Raptors had an answer for them. Pascal Siakam finally got himself going in this game as he led the Raptors in scoring with 23 points. The Raptors shot well from deep while the Celtics struggled.
The Conclusion of this Dramatic Series
There was no drama in Game 5 as Celtics dominated with their defense. They held the Raptors to 89 points in this game. Jaylen Brown led all scorers in this contest with 27 points. The Celtics essentially led the entire game and took back control of this series.
Game 6 was the most exciting in this series as it was filled with drama. This game went into double overtime and it was the heroics of Lowry and Norman Powell that allowed the Raptors to stave off elimination. Lowry led all scorers with 33 points. Powell on the other hand scored 15 of his 23 points in the two overtime periods.
This series came down to one game and Game 7 also wasn’t short on drama either. It wasn’t over until it’s over. While the Celtics led most of this game, the Raptors hung around. It was a great defensive battle between these two teams but in the end, the Celtics came out on top. The Raptors had 18 turnovers in this game and it’s difficult to win playoff games when that happens. Tatum led all scorers with 29 points in this contest.
Although the Celtics got a lot of out of their starters on both sides of the ball, Tatum was the best player for the Celtics in this series. He averaged 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per contest.
Brown was also a bright spot for the Celtics as he supplied great two-way play for them. He averaged 20.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per contest while playing excellent defense.
Smart also had his footprints on the defensive end for the Celtics. His block on Powell in Game 7 effectively clinched the series for the Celtics as it was a huge momentum swing. Smart averaged 15.7 points, six rebounds, and 5.1 assists per contest.
Lowry was easily the best player for the Raptors in this series. He averaged 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game.
Up Next for the Boston Celtics
The Celtics advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2018. They will face off against a tough Miami Heat team. The Heat took care of business by dismantling the Milwaukee Bucks in five games. This will be the fourth time these two teams meet in the playoffs. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is set to begin on Tuesday, September 15.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs Boston is Tuesday night, 6:30pm or 8:30pm (pending LAC/Den series) on ESPN.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 12, 2020