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Boston Celtics take 2-0 conference semifinals series lead over Toronto Raptors with 102-99 win

OG Anunoby scored a post-season career-high 20 points for the Raptors, who trail Boston 2-0 in their best-of-seven set.

LAKE BUENA VISA, Fla. — Jayson Tatum scored 34 points while Marcus Smart had 16 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics edged the Toronto Raptors 102-99 on Tuesday in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Game 3 is on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Fred VanVleet added 19 points for the defending NBA champions, who went 11-0 against other opponents in the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World but have now lost three in a row to Boston and are 1-5 against the Celtics this season. Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam had 17 points apiece, while Kyle Lowry finished with 16.

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The Celtics led wire to wire to clobber Toronto 112-94 in Game 1, but the Raptors played with much greater energy Tuesday and Marc Gasol’s basket to put Toronto up just 47 seconds in marked the Raptors’ first lead against Boston in nearly 97 minutes over their two previous games.

The lead changed hands 16 times before the Raptors finally put some separation on Boston in the third quarter, and then with 2:46 left of the frame, coach Nick Nurse won a big challenge on a call after Smart sideswiped Siakam. Siakam’s free throw after the call reversal capped an 11-0 Raptors run and put them up by 12.

Toronto took a 78-70 lead into the fourth, but the Raptors’ momentum ground to a halt.

Smart lit it up with five consecutive three-pointers to start the quarter, and his fifth long bomb, barely four minutes into the period, put Boston up by a point. A basket by Robert Williams capped a 9-0 Celtics run that stretched the difference to eight.

Kemba Walker’s three-pointer with 2:24 to play had Boston up by six points. Lowry drew a foul and his two free throws with 1:01 to play sliced the difference to one, but Walker replied with a step-back jumper and it was a three-point game.

COMMENTARY: Toronto Raptors stumble in series opener vs. Boston…


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