After losing the first matchup at Scoitabank Arena back in October, the Boston Celtics edged out the Raptors in the last two matchups at TD Garden. However, they're done with Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Indiana and, as of Tuesday night, they're done with Boston, too.
The Raptors are in the middle of a season-long seven game homestand, most of which have been too close for comfort for a team that has aspirations of playing for an National Basketball Association championship in June.
The model knows that although Boston has won two of three meetings this season, the Raptors have won 13 of the last 15 games played in Toronto, including the last seven.
The Raptors took a 95-68 lead into the fourth quarter. Even their seven-game winning streak featured inconsistent and underwhelming performances or narrow victories over far inferior teams. Are we sure the Boston Celtics still belong on that list? When Stevens' opponents have a win rate of 70% or higher, Boston is 20-7 (74.1%) against-the-spread (ATS) in January or later, covering the spread by 3.5 points per game. In particular, he didn't appreciate Irving brushing off questions about comments from Marcus Smart criticizing the squad's effort. Now the Celtics face the Raptors, who are coming off a loss. Things got so bad at one point that the usually mild-mannered Brad Stevens was caught using a powerful expletive toward of the referees on the broadcast. He did not play in the fourth quarter.
'I thought we were just outplayed in every which way, ' Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Kyrie Irving did not have a good time during a blowout loss by the Celtics.
The 24-year-old forward had 25 points - including going 4-of-5 from three-point range - to help Toronto down the Boston Celtics 118-95.
Toronto rattled off an 18-0 run, holding Boston without a field goal for the first five minutes and 20 seconds in the quarter. He is a dribbling ecosystem, surveying the floor for cutters while posting up and inducing ball movement. The Raptors have shown that they'll take no chances with Leonard, sitting him whenever necessary to ensure his freshness come May and June.
The bench buzzes around Gasol, cutting and screening so often that double-teams arrive at their own peril. It seems more like habit formation than coincidence - a team that cuts for Gasol will cut for Kawhi, simply because it's what it's used to. The Raptors are in the top 10 in a number of statistical categories, including point differential (plus-5.2), points scored (114.1), and points allowed (108.9).