July 20th, 2024

Jayson Tatum powers Celtics past Raptors 105-96; Toronto drops fourth straight

By John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press on January 15, 2024.

Toronto Raptors forward Thaddeus Young (21) tries to make a pass from the floor as Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) and Celtics centre Kristaps Porzingis (8) looks on during second half NBA basketball action in Toronto Monday Jan. 15, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – Jayson Tatum had a double-double to power the Boston Celtics past the Toronto Raptors 105-96 on Monday.

Tatum finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.

Derrick White went 5-for-11 from three-point range in a 22-point performance as Boston (31-9) shot 41 per cent from beyond the arc.

RJ Barrett of Mississauga, Ont., scored 24 points and pulled down nine boards as Toronto (15-25) lost its fourth straight.

Immanuel Quickley had 21 points and six rebounds and Pascal Siakam scored 17 as the Raptors returned home from a six-game road trip.

It was Siakam’s 510th game for Toronto, surpassing Chris Bosh for fifth most in team history.

Barrett made a layup and Scottie Barnes followed that up with a six-foot jump shot to cut Boston’s lead to 29-25 at the end of the first quarter. Barrett and Celtics guard Jrue Holiday led all scorers with 10 points apiece at the end of one.

A 9-0 run that stretched from the first quarter into the second gave Toronto its first lead of the game. After the two teams exchanged leads White drilled back-to-back three-pointers with more than eight minutes left in the half to give Boston its lead back.

Quickley drained a 25-foot three-pointer with 26 seconds left in the half as the Celtics held a 61-55 lead going into intermission.

Barnes spun past Tatum in the paint to lay it in for a 73-66 lead, capping a 13-2 run by the Raptors early in the third. Boston roared back with a pair of emphatic dunks from Tatum and two free throws from Kristaps Porzingis.

Tatum put Boston on his shoulders in the final three minutes of the third, scoring four points and dishing out two assists as the Celtics went on an 11-0 run for an 84-75 lead by the end of the quarter.

Barnes drove to the net on a breakaway and made a fadeaway jumper with 6:48 left to play as part of a 6-0 Raptors’ run as Toronto pulled to within eight. That drew a huge cheer from the 19,278 at Scotiabank Arena and forced a Boston timeout.

The Raptors reeled Boston in with an 8-0 run finished off by another layup from Barnes with two minutes to play. That cut the Celtics’ lead to four, but White fired back with a three-pointer and then Barnes fouled Holiday, leading to two made free throws.

After Quickley missed a field goal, Boston simply ran down the clock.

BROWN OUT – Celtics small forward Jaylen Brown was held out of Boston’s lineup for the game. Head coach Joe Mazzulla said that Brown was out with a sore knee and got treatment earlier in the day. Brown is averaging 23.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

FAN SUPPORT – Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic was fined US$25,000 by the NBA after he criticized officials following a 132-131 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Jan. 9. Although he was punished for the outburst, fans in Toronto loved it. Rajakovic, who stays off social media, said he was unaware of the fan support even as the Raptors returned home from their six-game road trip.

“I did not see any of the fans, I was in the office and home,” he said before the game. “I’m gonna always try to protect our players and our organization and let’s just leave it at that.”

UP NEXT – Toronto hosts the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

Boston welcomes the lowly San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2024.

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