Holy crap, this was fun. It may be late November but this game sure had the feel of an intense playoff game in May.
Kyrie Irving (43 points, 19 in the 4th, 18-26 FG, 11 assists) was flat out ridiculous. This was his best game as a Celtic as Boston beat the Raptors 123-116.
Jayson Tatum (21 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals) was also clutch. The kid didn’t bring it for the full 53 minutes (just 2 points, 1-5 FG in 1st half) but he showed up when it mattered.
What went well
Everything Kyrie touched? The man shot 69% against the Raptors! He was often guarded by Kawhi Leonard, aka the best defensive player in the universe. And… he made some solid plays on the defensive end.
I’m gonna give some props to Gordon Hayward (15 points, 4-8 FG, 5 reb, 5 assists in 38 minutes), too. Nothing flashy but some clutch free throws to force OT and 4 huge points in the extra session.
The Raptors final possession in regulation. With 24.5 seconds remaining, Leonard (31 points, 15 rebounds) ran the clock down and opted for a contested (nice work Mook Sr.) mid-range jumper that hit all iron. I’m not sure why Toronto went away from the Lowry/Leonard pick-and-roll but that’s not my problem.
What went wrong
The officiating was…. mediocre. Just look at Brad’s expression here: