Boston Celtics stopped Toronto Raptors‘ surge in Game 5, regaining the lead in the series against the NBA champions. They would beat the Canadian team 111-89, seizing a 3-2 lead, and earning two chances to proceed to the conference finals.
Celtics were ruthless right from the start, limiting the champs to 11 points in the first period and keeping all their key players restrained. Toronto scored only four field goals in the opening quarter and was completely outplayed. Apart from Boston’s solid defense, there were several open shots that the No.2 seed in East couldn’t make.
The second sequence saw the Celtics ripping apart Toronto’s defense, scoring 37 buckets, and reaching a 62-35 lead at the break. It was evident in those moments that the Raptors didn’t have any ideas on how to compete with the rivals.
As time went by, they became more and more frustrated, which eventually resulted in Kyle Lowry’s technical and Serge Ibaka’s confrontation with the Raptors’ point guard. Yet, Fred VanVleet prevented things from escalating, and everything was settled quickly.
Lowry had 10 points and was looking lost on the court. He played 34 minutes, shooting 3-of-8 from the field, and assisting just five times. Pascal Siakam also had 10 buckets, with four boards and two assists.
VanVleet was the only one who showed come productivity, scoring 18 points with five rebounds, and three steals, but that was just too low for the Celtics. Norman Powell had 16 off the bench, and Matt Thomas 10.
Serge Ibaka to Kyle Lowry after the tech: "Come on man, we’re losing!"
Celtics bench started cheering 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 8, 2020
For the winners, Jaylen Brown dominated. The athletic guard/forward ended the night with a game-high 27 points, and 6 rebounds. Kemba Walker was right behind him with 21 points and seven assists, while Jayson Tatum recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Daniel Theis and 15 and 8 boards, while Marcus Smart played another all-round game. In 35 minutes spent on the floor, Smart scored 12 points, grabbed 7 boards, and made six assists. Brad Wanamaker scored 15 off the bench.
The Celtics were better in almost every aspect of play. They had more rebounds, 53-43, their shooting percentage was far higher than Toronto’s, 49.4% compared to 38.8%. One thing was pretty interesting, and that is the scoring from the paint. The champions are one of the teams with the best defense under the rim, yet they allowed 48 points from that area, producing 32 themselves.
The next contest, Game 6, is this Wednesday.