The Boston Celtics faced off against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season, which ended up going to seven games in a back-and-forth affair.
On Thursday, much like they did in the playoff bubble last season, the Celtics came up victorious, with two-time All-Star Jayson Tatum putting up big numbers to deliver the victory for Boston, including this tough jumper in traffic:
Too smooth Tatum 🤧 pic.twitter.com/yOW9La9OkX
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 5, 2021
Tatum finished with a team-high 27 points along with 12 rebounds, 5 assists and two steals in 37 minutes played. He also tacked on a game-high +20 in on/off rating to help buoy the Celtics.
This was quite an odd statistical game, as both teams put up huge offensive numbers. Jaylen Brown of the C’s scored 21 points on only 11 shooting possessions due to going to the free throw a whopping 16 times – notching 11 points from the charity stripe.
The Celtics bench also performed admirably by putting 51 points between four players: Payton Pritchard, Robert Williams III, Jeff Teague, and Grant Williams.
However, the Raps produced even more from the bench between only two players: 22 points from backup guard Terence Davis and a whopping career-high 30 points from center Chris Boucher, who scored those points on only 15 shooting possessions thanks to a 5 of 9 showing from downtown.
Despite that, the C’s delivered the win, and Tatum and Brown will be featured in the NBA All-Star game on March 7 – though playing for different sides due to the draft that took place on Thursday.