In Boston’s home opener on October 22, Toronto embarrassed the Celtics in a 32-point victory. Boston were booed off the court at halftime. The Celtics flipped the script in a rematch with Toronto at TD Garden on Wednesday night. From the very start of the game, Boston made sure that they were in control. In a physically aggressive game, rebounding was key and Boston won that battle.
After an eight point lead at the end of the opening quarter, the Celtics extended that lead to 16 at the half. Toronto managed to keep the game within reach as they trailed by 12 after three quarters. However, Boston made sure that a Raptors comeback was not in the making when they broke out for a 8-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, making it 95-79.
Jaylen Brown continued to sit out with a strained right hamstring, but Romeo Langford returned after missing the last game at Dallas on Saturday due to a “non-COVID illness.” Langford hit a couple of 3-pointers for six points in 19 minutes off the bench.
Although Jayson Tatum shot just 8-for-24, he did manage to score 22 points, adding 12 rebounds and seven assists. Robert Williams was the standout performer for the Celtics, notching 16 points and an impressive 13 rebounds, eight of which were on the offensive glass. That marked a career-high in offensive rebounds for Williams. Dennis Schroder had 20 points, Josh Richardson had 13 and Marcus Smart scored 16.
Overall, Boston moved the ball fluently on offense leading to good looks. A lack of ball movement had been an issue in previous games for the Celtics. This was not the case Wednesday as everyone on the floor got involved and contributed on offense.
For the Raptors, Scottie Barnes led in scoring with 21 points. Fred VanVleet had 16 points and both OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. had 14. In just his second game of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury, Pascal Siakam managed eight points in 30 minutes.
The win for Boston was their first at home this season. Meanwhile, Toronto suffered their first road loss of the season. The Raptors fell to .500 and now possess a record of 6-6. They head to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Thursday night. The Celtics are now 5-6 as they look to recover from a shaky start to the season. They will host the defending champion, Milwaukee Bucks, on Friday night.
(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)