Celtics video: Al Horford stares down Serge Ibaka after massive poster slam
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Video: Celtics’ Al Horford stares down Raptors’ Serge Ibaka after massive poster slam

Boston Celtics center Al Horford came off a fast break with some serious thunder on forward Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors late in the third quarter of an Eastern Conference battle.

Ibaka has been known as a formidable rim protector for a solid portion of his NBA career, but he clearly took one on the chin from Horford in this instance, however.

Coming off a three-game losing streak, and without guards Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart making their marks in the backcourt Monday night against the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics had to make a statement – and that would be to edge the conference-imposing Raptors in Boston’s TD Garden, 117-108.

Horford not only moved the crowd and shifted the game’s momentum with the dunk, but finished with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and seven rebounds.

Irving on the other hand, reached a milestone with his 27-point performance. He also added five rebounds, and dropped in 18 assists – a new career high.

Kawhi Leonard wasn’t the game’s headliner, though he did have himself a night for Toronto, while trying to hold on to their five-game winning streak. He racked in 33 points on 10-of-19 shooting.

With the Celtics running away with win No. 26 of their season, it goes without mentioning that these two teams haven’t seen the last of each other this year. Perhaps this one serves as a preview of an Eastern Conference playoff series down the road.