Boston bounced back in a big way on Monday, picking up a dominant 111-89 win against Toronto to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference series. The Celtics had dropped the previous two games of the series, but now they have a chance to close it out on Wednesday night.
Raptors trying to stay aliveToronto had done well to get back into the series prior to Monday’s game, but the Raptors were unable win their third in a row. They fell behind 25-11 in the first quarter and were outscored by 13 more points in the second quarter. The game was basically over at halftime, as the Celtics coasted to a win. Toronto shot just 38.8 percent from the floor and only made 12 of 40 from beyond the arc. The Raptors turned the ball over 13 times and committed 24 fouls in the game five defeat. The reigning NBA champions are now facing an elimination game. Postgame // Coach, KLow, Pascal, Fred
Shooting guard Fred VanVleet has been the team’s leading scorer throughout the postseason. He was on top once again on Monday, scoring 18 points on 6 of 14 shooting. Guard Kyle Lowry did not play well, scoring just 10 points on a 3 of 8 effort from the floor. Forward OG Anunoby, who was the hero in game three of the series, scored seven points and made just 3 of his 11 attempts. He was 1 of 5 from beyond the arc. Guard Norman Powell added 16 points off the bench. He made a team-high four 3-pointers on 11 attempts. Forward Pascal Siakam and guard Matt Thomas each scored 10 points.
Celtics with chance to advanceBoston regained momentum in the Eastern Conference Semis with the blowout win on Monday. The Celtics had gone from being a half-second away from a 3-0 lead in the series to losing a pair of games and finding themselves tied at 2-2. They wasted no time in regaining control, jumping out to a 27-point halftime lead in game five. Head coach Brad Stevens told reporters that his team was “playing with great purpose.” Boston shot 49.4 percent from the floor, despite making just 11 of 34 from beyond the arc. The Celtics took advantage of their opportunity at the charity stripe, making 24 of 27.
Guard Jaylen Brown led the way in game five, scoring 27 points on a 10 of 18 shooting clip. He added six rebounds and made 3 of 7 from distance. Kemba Walker added 21 points on an 8 of 15 effort, despite making 1 of 6 from deep. He had a classic Walker statline, dishing out seven assists and grabbing four rebounds. Forward Jayson Tatum scored 18 points and center Daniel Theis notched 15. Tatum recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds and he also dished out four assists. Brad Wanamaker scored 15 points and Marcus Smart added 12 points. The Celtics have a chance to close the series out in this game.