NBA regular season

Celtics run win streak to 9 by edging Raptors


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Celtics run win streak to 9 by edging Raptors

ON A ROLL. Celtics guard Marcus Smart tries to get past Raptors forward Pascal Siakam.

Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Even minus Jayson Tatum, the Celtics match their longest winning streak of the season at nine games

Jaylen Brown scored 27 points and the visiting Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors, 106-104, on Saturday, January 21 (Sunday, January 22, Manila time)  to extend their winning streak to nine games, matching their longest of the season.

Reserves Grant Williams added 25 points and Malcolm Brogdon scored 23 for the Celtics. Payton Pritchard scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics were without Jayson Tatum (wrist), and the Raptors did not have Fred VanVleet (rib).

Boston lost two players during the game. Marcus Smart (sprained right ankle) was helped off the court with 9.7 seconds left in the first half and did not return; Robert Williams III (knee) did not return for the second half. Each had two points.

Toronto’s OG Anunoby (ankle) left the game during the third quarter and did not return. He scored 12 points.

Pascal Siakam had 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 10 assists for the Raptors, who have lost three straight. Gary Trent Jr. added 22 points, Precious Achiuwa had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Scottie Barnes scored 10 points.

Toronto took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter, when Boston opened the quarter with a 9-0 run for a 90-85 advantage.

Pritchard’s three-pointer gave Boston a 101-93 lead with 5:53 to play in the fourth. Trent had a steal and a three-pointer to trim the margin to three with 3:50 to play. Trent tied the game at 103 on a triple with 2:23 left. Pritchard hit a go-ahead trey with 1:30 to play.

Toronto led 27-26 after one quarter after being ahead by as many as 11 points.

The Celtics opened the second quarter with a 7-2 surge. Achiuwa’s layup gave Toronto a two-point lead with 4:01 left in the quarter. The lead reached 8 on Siakam’s dunk after Trent’s steal with nine seconds to play. Toronto led 57-50 at halftime.

Brogdon made four straight points to cut the lead to three with 6:50 to play in the third quarter. Siakam’s 7-footer after Achiuwa’s block gave Toronto a seven-point lead with 4:11 remaining in the third. 

Brogdon’s three-pointer reduced the margin to one with 1:57 left. Toronto responded with a 4-0 spurt. Toronto led 85-81 after three quarters. –

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