Raptors vs. Celtics Game Thread: Pre-game updates, TV info, and more

Raptors vs. Celtics Game Thread: Pre-game updates, TV info, and more
Quick Reaction: Celtics 101, Raptors 113
TORONTO — Just two games into his tenure in Toronto, Kawhi Leonard was serenaded with chants of “M-V-P!” by almost 20,000 fans Friday night.

And while the newest Raptor smilingly brushed aside the gesture — “Its a little too early,” he said — Leonard certainly showed glimpses of his superstar billing in just his second real NBA game in nine months.

Leonard launched a three-pointer midway through the fourth that put the Raptors up by six and brought the crowd to its feet. An Al Horford three pulled the Celtics to within two points with just under three minutes to play, but Green and Lowry connected on back-to-back three-pointers to put the brakes on any Boston momentum. It was all Toronto the rest of the way.

Leonard scored 15 of his 31 points in the third quarter, and hauled down a team-high 10 rebounds to lead the Raptors to a 113-101 victory over the Boston Celtics in a marquee Eastern Conference matchup.

Leonard, who until Wednesdays opener hadnt played an NBA regular-season game since January 13, had predicted it would take time to find his rhythm. And while the former San Antonio star shot just 3-for-11 in the first half, he was constantly creating havoc on the defensive end and grabbing rebounds with his enormous hands.

Leonard scores 31 points as Raptors top Boston 113-101

“Its Game 2, but I appreciate the support,” Leonard said of the chants. “I know theyre excited about us winning the game tonight, and I appreciate it.”

Toronto took a one-point lead three minutes before halftime, but the Celtics responded with a 9-2 run to go up by eight. Then with time ticking down, VanVleet drilled a three as the buzzer sounded, cutting Bostons lead to 53-49 heading into the break.

Serge Ibaka had 21 points, while Kyle Lowry had 15 points, six assists and five boards as the Raptors (2-0) remained undefeated in early season action. Danny Green chipped in with 14 points, while Fred VanVleet added 11.

Final Score and Recap: Toronto Raptors beat Boston Celtics, 113-101

Green, part of the blockbuster deal that brought Leonard to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, said his former Spurs teammate is already being more assertive, and showing his ability to take over games.

Neither team led by more than eight points on Friday, and the Raptors took an 82-79 lead into the fourth quarter in front of a soldout Scotiabank Arena crowd that included swimmer Penny Oleksiak and former Toronto Argonauts quarterback Damon Allen.

“You can tell hes a competitor, he wants to compete, he wants the ball, he wants to be on the floor at all times,” Green said. “And he wants to make the big plays, the winning plays, and offensively hes doing a good job of getting us there, taking us there, carrying us.”

Serge Ibaka had 21 points, while Kyle Lowry had 15 points, six assists and five boards as the Raptors (2-0) remained undefeated in early season action. Danny Green chipped in with 14 points, while Fred VanVleet added 11.

Leonard, who until Wednesdays opener hadnt played an NBA regular-season game since January 13, had predicted it would take time to find his rhythm. And while he shot just 3-for-11 in the first half, he was constantly creating havoc on the defensive end and grabbing rebounds with his enormous hands.

“Lungs feel good out there, what Im trying to do is just get my legs under me, get used to playing these NBA games, getting hit, running up and down the floor, guarding these great players throughout the minutes that I am out there,” said Leonard, who played just nine games last season due to injury.

"Lungs feel good out there, what I'm trying to do is just get my legs under me, get used to playing these NBA games, getting hit, running up and down the floor, guarding these great players throughout the minutes that I am out there," said Leonard, who played just nine games last season due to injury.

Celtics vs. Raptors – Game Recap – October 20, 2018

The game was an early gauge of how the Raptors stack up against the consensus team to beat in the East, plus a preview of what should be a fierce season-long battle between the two Atlantic Division powerhouses that could extend into the playoffs.

Leonard, who until Wednesday's opener hadn't played an NBA regular-season game since January 13, had predicted it would take time to find his rhythm. And while he shot just 3-for-11 in the first half, he was constantly creating havoc on the defensive end and grabbing rebounds with his enormous hands.

The Raptors were coming off a 116-104 win over Cleveland in Wednesdays season opener, while the Celtics began their campaign Tuesday with a 105-87 rout of Philadelphia.

Neither team led by more than eight points through the first three quarters Friday, and the Raptors took an 82-79 lead into the fourth in front of a soldout Scotiabank Arena crowd that included swimmer Penny Oleksiak and former Toronto Argonauts quarterback Damon Allen.

"You can tell he's a competitor, he wants to compete, he wants the ball, he wants to be on the floor at all times," Green said. "And he wants to make the big plays, the winning plays, and offensively he's doing a good job of getting us there, taking us there, carrying us."

The Celtics pulled to within two points on a three-pointer by Al Horford with just under three minutes to play, but Green and Lowry connected on back-to-back three-pointers to put the brakes on any Boston momentum.

Leonard wills Raptors to win over Celtics

Leonards ability to create a variety of shots in his big third quarter impressed Raptors coach Nick Nurse.

“He did a little bit of everything, right? He hit a three or two, one or two threes in that quarter, he took a couple in transition to the basket and he had a couple of isolation point up plays,” Nurse said. “Thats kind of his versatility, I think theres some growth to be done with his screen and roll game, right? I think we can get him up the floor and get him into some more screen and rolls … he hasnt really busted that out yet but he can do that as well.”

“You just throw it to him sometimes and hell go get you a bucket,” the Celtics guard said. “He commands double-teams, makes some tough shots, gets it going down the stretch. Honestly, he can put the whole team on his back. Hes shown it before. Hes just a special talent.”

After a huge three from Danny Green (14 points, five rebounds, four 3s), there was Lowry with another, and then a long jumper. He also found the time to draw a few more charges, just to remind us of his presence of mind. (One of those calls came against Marcus Morris who tried to work Lowry in the post — dont these guys ever learn?) Lowry would finish with another sharp shooting line: 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep. That he also had six rebounds and six assists against zero turnovers proves something else — Lowry is ready to go right now, today.

The Raptors improved to 10-1 versus Boston at home. The two teams have accounted for 12 of the last 14 Atlantic Division titles, Toronto winning five and Boston seven.

With Kawhi Leonard already back to MVP form, the skys the limit for Raptors in East

OG Anunoby began the game wearing protective goggles after suffering a orbital contusion on Wednesdays opener, but he ditched them after a few minutes on the floor. Delon Wright (groin strain) didnt play.

The Raptors led by three points late in a tight first quarter, but the Celtics closed the frame on a 14-4 run to take a 25-18 lead into the second.

Share Share Raptors zoom away from Celtics down the stretch, win 113-101 tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Lets just admit some preseason assessments of the Raptors have proven to be correct so far. We knew theyd have trouble rebounding, that it would take time to develop team chemistry, that Kawhi Leonard would have to work off some considerable rust. In Friday nights contest against the Boston Celtics, these were all issues for Toronto — for a time.

NBA live scores, schedule: Celtics vs Raptors in Eastern battle, Warriors take on Jazz

Toronto took a one-point lead three minutes before halftime, but the Celtics responded with a 9-2 run to go up by eight. Then with time ticking down, VanVleet drilled a three as the buzzer sounded, cutting Bostons lead to 53-49 heading into the break.

Feels like home: Though theres plenty to learn for Leonard and Green, Raptors teammates have been doing their part to make the adjustment a smooth one. After practice on Thursday, Green talked about the differences coming from a situation in San Antonio where he played with plenty of veteran players to arriving in Toronto and becoming one of the veteran players himself. Being treated differently as a vet here, its a fun part about the experience, Im enjoying it as much as I possibly can,” he said. While the on-court adjustment will get easier as the games go on, things have been falling into place away from the arena. The coaching staff has made it easy for me to adjust, Green said. Kyle has made it easy, Serge has taken us in, its been great helping us feel at home.

Leonard poured in 15 points in an eight-minute stretch of the third, and his cutting dunk midway through the quarter put the Raptors up by two.

Eastern Conference life: Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green have played the previous seven and eight seasons in the Western Conference respectively. Moving to the East this season will require some extra homework. Its very different, Green said. We know these guys [in the Eastern Conference], personnel-wise, decently. We dont play them as many times a year in the west, so a guy like Cedi Osman, we dont see him, we dont know until we play against him that this guy is pretty damn good. More reading, scouting reports and looking guys up, knowing their strengths and weaknesses so, its going to be interesting and its going to be fun, thats the fun part about it.

Kawhi Leonard Stellar as Raptors Beat Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Celtics

The Raptors and Celtics will meet three more times in the regular season. Next up is Nov. 16 in Boston.

The Raptors are in Washington on Saturday to play the Wizards, their first-round opponent from last seasons playoffs.

Green for three: Danny Green also had a solid Raptors debut. Starting in the backcourt alongside Kyle Lowry, Green scored 15 points in 33 minutes, shooting 4-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-7 from beyond the arc while adding five rebounds two steals and two blocked shots. The Raptors connected on 14-of-33 three-pointers (42 percent), doubling Clevelands total of seven three-pointers on 19 attempts from deep.

Pascal is a defensive monster, but he’s still figuring out his offense playing with the starters, and it was a bit of a slog at times, while the bench missed his ball-handling with some of the groups they had. Still, was really valuable at the defensive end tonight.

This is why the Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard. This game right here. He struggled with his shot a bit in the first half, and his legs still aren’t completely there(how scary is that sentence?), but he was absolutely monstrous when he had to be. He keyed the third quarter run, and it’s just an entirely different thing having one of the best players in the league on the Raptors.

Injury Report: Delon Wright is questionable with a left adductor strain and OG Anunoby is questionable with a right orbital contusion. Wright missed Wednesdays home opener, while Anunoby left late after getting hit in the eye.

Kawhi Leonard, Raptors show Celtics how its done

There is one small nitpick that I have with Serge, which is that the defensive rebounding definitely suffers with him at center, however, this was a great game from him. More than held his own defensively against Horford, had a great game offensively, even making passes crosscourt to open teammates. Everything the team needed from him.

Raptors: G Delon Wright (left thigh) missed his second straight game. … F OG Anunoby started the game wearing protective goggles but took them off after the first. Anunoby left Wednesdays win over Cleveland because of a right orbital contusion. … Toronto made one change to its starting lineup, with Ibaka replacing Jonas Valanciunas. … VanVleet led the Raptors with seven assists.

Any concerns over whether he’ll be a malcontent should be fully put to bed. Kyle has been nothing short of dominant through two games, and was fantastic tonight, whether it was keying an offensive run with his shooting, working hard defensively, keeping guys involved, or taking three charges from Celtics players.

Celtics: Horford took and made the only free throw by a Boston starter through the first three quarters. The Celtics finished 7 for 10 at the line while the Raptors were 14 for 19. … Irving shot 10 for 20 from the field. … Tatum had nine rebounds

Fred had huge moments tonight, and was the only thing that saved the bench from being completely blown out at points, but he can’t do it all himself and got caught trying a few times, and got in trouble.

TORONTO (AP) Kawhi Leonard had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Serge Ibaka added 21 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Boston Celtics 113-101 on Friday night in an early matchup between Eastern Conference contenders.

OG’s buckets were huge tonight, but his defense was even more important. Boston is a tough team, and against opponents like this it’s big to have him on his game.

Green and Lowry each made 3-pointers around an offensive foul by Tatum with just over two minutes remaining, giving the Raptors a 107-99 edge. Green went 4 for 7 from long range, while Lowry made 3 of 5.

Rough night for the big man. Wasn’t used the best, with many of his minutes coming with neither Lowry or Leonard on the court, but he also wasn’t at the level he needs to be in terms of defensive awareness, and Nurse smartly kept his minutes short in this matchup.

Is the GoDaddy curse alive and well? CJ didn’t have his shot tonight, and this wasn’t his best outing. Season is young though.

Kyrie Irving scored 21 points for Boston, and Al Horford had 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Jayson Tatum scored 16 points, and Jaylen Brown had 13.

Rough night for Norm here, as he wasn’t at his best and got in trouble a few times. He did hit one big shot though, on a free-throw line turnaround when the Raptors needed a bucket in the fourth quarter.