NBA Basketball

106
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Toronto 29 27 24 26 106
Boston 34 32 22 32 120
120
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT22:30 , February 11, 2021
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Celtics head home to face sizzling Raptors

According to STATS
According to STATS

Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics

  1. The Celtics beat Toronto on January 4, 126-114, their sixth win in the last eight regular season meetings with the Raptors. Including their series win over Toronto in last season's playoffs, the Celtics are 10-6 against Toronto since the start of the 2018-19 season, better than any other Eastern team in that time.
  2. Toronto shot 19-for-32 (.594) from three-point range in its win over Washington on Wednesday, the highest percentage by any team with at least 30 three-point attempts in a game this season.
  3. Norman Powell has scored at least 18 points in all nine games since entering the starting lineup on January 22, averaging 23.4 points. Powell has struggled against Boston since the start of last season, averaging 9.9 ppg and breaking the 18-point mark just once in 10 appearances (including postseason).
  4. The Celtics are 4-8 in their last 12 games, their worst 12-game stretch since going 4-8 from November 3-24, 2018. They haven't lost nine times in a 13-game span in over six years, since January 9 to February 1, 2015.
  5. Jaylen Brown marked his 300th NBA game with 33 points against Utah on Tuesday, giving him 4215 points in his career. Of Celtics players who started their career in 1990 or later, only Paul Pierce (6800), Antoine Walker (5994) and Jayson Tatum (4384 in 243 games) have scored more in their first 300 games.
  6. Only Utah (17.0) makes more threes per game than Toronto (16.1) this season, while Boston is one of seven teams to hold opponents to fewer than 12 made threes per game (11.9).

A disappointing West Coast swing behind them, the Boston Celtics face no easy task in returning home to face the red-hot Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.

The Celtics went 2-3 on their road trip and are 4-8 in their past 12 games overall. Boston has dropped each of its past two contests, including a 122-108 defeat against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

The Raptors, meanwhile, have won five of their past six as they prepare to wrap up their six-game road trip. Toronto will be playing the second night of a back-to-back after routing the Washington Wizards 137-115 on Wednesday.

The matchup Thursday marks the second of three meetings between the Atlantic Division rivals this season. The Celtics won the first game 126-114 on Jan. 4.

That victory came during a five-game winning streak for Boston that preceded its recent rut. The team was without star forward Jayson Tatum for two weeks due to COVID-19, and his top scoring partner, Jaylen Brown, missed two games with a knee injury before returning to score 33 points in the loss against NBA-leading Utah.

"The way (the Jazz) played, the freedom, the flow they have to their team is really good right now, and we've got to find a better flow for ourselves," Brown said after the game. "We had some disconnectedness at times, and the game almost seems a little harder than it should be.

"If we just trust each other, we're in the right spots and things like that, the game will be a lot easier than it has been for us."

The Celtics had been within striking distance, down 108-104 with 3:10 left before collapsing down the stretch.

"As a leader of this team, I take responsibility for how we respond and how we come out," Brown said. "And in that fourth quarter, it just wasn't there for us."

A complete effort will be necessary against a Raptors team that has finally hit its stride following a slow start to the season. A win Thursday would even Toronto's record after a 2-8 start.

Against the Wizards on Wednesday, the Raptors drained 19 3-pointers, Kyle Lowry leading the way with five. Norman Powell scored 28 points and Pascal Siakam added 26 for Toronto, which led by as many as 24 points in the dominant victory.

"We're shooting the three a lot better," Lowry said. "Pascal getting back into a groove helps, Norm has played unbelievably great every game he's been starting. ... We're just in such a good groove."

The Raptors have surpassed 120 points in each of their past five games.

"The offense is growing," Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. "We're not going through too many lulls."

Toronto has played its past eight contests without OG Anunoby, who has been sidelined by a calf strain. Nurse said it was "50-50" whether the forward would be available against Boston.

The Celtics will be without guard Marcus Smart (calf) for the sixth straight game.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 11, 2021

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