The Toronto Raptors have dropped another one, falling to 1-5 on the season.
At the hands of a 40-point outburst from All-Star forward Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics were able to pick up the win on the second night of a back-to-back against their Atlantic Division foe. Fred VanVleet brought his best effort, going for 35 points, eight boards, three assists and two steals, but the Raptors offensive struggles and defensive lapses couldn't overcome Boston's counterpunch.
If you missed any of the action, we had you covered with live updates, highlights and more from the contest.
Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics - Live score, updates, news, stats and highlights
PREVIEW | BOX SCORE | PLAY-BY-PLAY
Final: Celtics 126, Raptors 114
The Raptors bench showed some heart to make Boston work to close this one out, but the Celtics come away with the victory. Jayson Tatum led the way with 40 points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal while Jaylen Brown finished with 19 points, five boards and three assists. Rookie Payton Pritchard had the best game of his young career, going for 23 points and eight assists to step up in Marcus Smart's absence.
For Toronto, Fred VanVleet had a team-high 35 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals but he was the team's only consistent source of offence. Pascal Siakam's final stat line reads that he had 22 points, but a handful of those came late with the game out of reach. The Raptors offensive struggles continued despite posting 114 points, shooting 40.4% from the field and 36.1% from 3.
Still trying to find our groove. pic.twitter.com/EFUF1AXpfU- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 5, 2021
To make things interesting, the Raptors have cut this to a 10-point game with 2:24 to play. Toronto's bench forced Celtics head coach Brad Stevens to put both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown back in the game to close things out.
The Raptors have emptied their bench trailing 121-102 with under four minues to play. Yuta Watanabe checks in, corrals a defensive rebound and buries a 3-pointer in transition to give Toronto some life.
Jayson Tatum is up to 40 points on the night but with the Celtics leading 109-83 and under 10 minutes remaining, we may have seen the last of the young All-Star tonight. His final bucket to get to 40 was of a very high level of difficulty.
End of third quarter: Celtics 100, Raptors 81
Jayson Tatum's 38 points has been the highlight of the game, with Jaylen Brown trailing behind him at 19 points. Boston is lighting it up shooting 51.6% from the field and 52.0% from 3, knocking down 13 triples. Fred VanVleet has 31 points on six 3s but he hasn't had much help. Kyle Lowry (13 points) and Pascal Siakam (15 points) are the only other Raptors in double figures and the team's offensive struggles have continued, shooting 38.5% from the field.
🔘🔘🔘⚪️ pic.twitter.com/7LdzJqlfbf- Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 5, 2021
And things have gotten out of hand in Tampa. The Celtics have extended their lead to 21 at 93-72 with under three minutes to go in the quarter. While Jayson Tatum has been the standout performer with a season-high 38 points, Boston's rookie guard Payton Pritchard has been awesome off the bench with 16 points and six assists while shooting 7-for-9 from the field.
Aside from Fred VanVleet's 31 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, there hasn't been much to harp on. Pascal Siakam is in double figures with 15 points while shooting 5-for-13 from the field and did have this nice sequence early in the third quarter.
🌶️ pic.twitter.com/2aj6gzdM3n- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 5, 2021
The Raptors have opened up the second half with Alex Len starting at centre to switch things up inside. Toronto was out-rebounded 31-17 in the first half.
Halftime: Celtics 61, Raptors 46
The Raptors were outscored 38-14 in the second quarter when they saw their nine-point first-quarter lead turn into a 15-point halftime deficit. Jayson Tatum was incredible in the second frame and has 26 points in the first half, shooting 6-for-11 from the field, 4-for-5 from 3-point land and 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
VanVleet has been the only consistent source of offence for Toronto with 18 points at the half. Pascal Siakam got off to a strong start in making his first two 3s, but he has just eight points shooting 3-for-10 from the field at the break.
half pic.twitter.com/dchJ1Ltu7v- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 5, 2021
And just like that... the Raptors lead has evaporated. The Celtics are on a 27-6 run to take a 53-42 lead with under three minutes to go in the half. Jayson Tatum has caught fire and is up to 21 points in the half, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
Nothing but the bottom of the net pic.twitter.com/XthiSpSrko- Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 5, 2021
A transition spot-up 3-pointer from Jayson Tatum cuts the Raptors lead to just four at 36-32 early in the second quarter, forcing Nick Nurse to take a timeout.
End of first quarter: Raptors 32, Celtics 23
The Raptors finally got some shots to fall in the first quarter, shooting 50% from the field and beyond the arc. Fred VanVleet's 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals paced Toronto's efforts with Kyle Lowry chipping in nine points. For the Celtics, it was Jaylen Brown who continued his red-hot start to the season scoring a team-high seven points.
The Raptors took 11 free throws to Boston's three, but only made five of those 11 attempts.
Defence held it down pic.twitter.com/u2JOducksS- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 5, 2021
Toronto's hot start hasn't cooled off much but Boston is beginning to catch up. The Raptors lead 28-20 behind a blistering start from Fred VanVleet, who is shooting 4-for-5 from beyond the arc in the first frame. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have combined for 12 of the Celtics 20 points thus far.
Let's get this started JB pic.twitter.com/QB7HFig47j- Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 5, 2021
The Raptors may have been struggling to shoot prior to this contest, but you wouldn't be able to tell based off of how this one's started. Toronto is 5-for-6 (83.3%) from beyond the arc to take an early 17-6 lead. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet have each started the game 2-for-2 from beyond the arc with the other make coming on a Kyle Lowry and-1 3-ball.
Bare trey's thus far pic.twitter.com/eg4SWvaLp0- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 5, 2021
The usuals for Toronto - Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Aron Baynes.
Tonight's @Invisalign starting lineup. #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/swnFNtWEca- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 5, 2021
Tremont Waters will get the start in place of Marcus Smart for Boston tonight. The rest of the starters - Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson - remain the same.
Almost game time ☘️ pic.twitter.com/M7JFR4TsZl- Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 5, 2021
The Celtics will be extremely thin at guard tonight, missing Marcus Smart (thumb), Jeff Teague (ankle) and, of course, Kemba Walker (knee), who has yet to suit up this season.
#NEBHInjuryReport update - Marcus Smart has been downgraded to OUT. https://t.co/4GrrzIUZSD- Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 4, 2021
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