NBA regular season

Jaylen Brown leads shorthanded Celtics over Raptors for 16-0 home record


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Jaylen Brown leads shorthanded Celtics over Raptors for 16-0 home record

LEADING. Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown (7) drives to the basket defended by Toronto Raptors center Jakob Poeltl (19) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

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Jaylen Brown drops 31 points as the Boston Celtics without stars Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porzingis earn a 2-point escape of the Toronto Raptors

Jaylen Brown had 31 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to help the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 120-118 on Friday night (Saturday, December 30, Manila time) and improve their home record to 16-0 this season.

With his team trailing by three, Toronto’s Pascal Siakam was fouled with 1.4 seconds left. He made the first free throw and missed the second intentionally, but the Raptors were unable to control the rebound.

Derrick White had 21 points, five rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics, who won their fifth game in a row. Luke Kornet scored 20 points and Jrue Holiday added 15 points for Boston.

Scottie Barnes led the Raptors with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Siakam finished with 27 points, and Jakob Poeltl added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Toronto trailed by 13 after three quarters but scored 18 of the first 21 points in the fourth. Toronto tied the score at 116-116 on Barnes’ 3-pointer with 47.1 seconds to play, but the Celtics went up 118-116 on a Kornet dunk with 32.6 seconds left and didn’t relinquish the lead after that.

The Celtics, who beat Detroit 128-122 in overtime Thursday, played without center Al Horford (rest), center Kristaps Porzingis (calf) and forward Jayson Tatum (ankle). Tatum leads the team in scoring (27.0) and rebounding (8.4).

The Raptors led 7-3, but the Celtics surged in front with a 20-4 run that featured three consecutive 3-pointers by Brown. Boston had a 35-20 lead after one quarter.

Boston had its largest lead of the game after Sam Hauser made a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics a 40-20 advantage with 10:53 remaining in the second quarter. Boston made 11 of 20 3-pointers in the first half (55 percent) and led 68-53 entering the third quarter.

The Raptors trimmed their deficit to nine points after Barnes made two free throws with 3:06 left in the third, but Toronto trailed 99-86 with 12 minutes to play. –

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