Rapid Recap: Resilient Raptors survive Game 6 as Celtics can’t get a break

© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rapid Recap: Resilient Raptors survive Game 6 as Celtics can’t get a break

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Rapid Recap: Resilient Raptors survive Game 6 as Celtics can’t get a break


Rapid Recap is designed for the busiest of Celtics fans. Whether you can’t stay awake to read 10 paragraphs or your hangover is just too much, Rapid Recap tells the timeline of the game in only a minute or two. (This recap isn’t exactly rapid, but we had good reasons.)

The Celtics were one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals, and after 58 minutes of physical, hotly contested basketball, they still are. The Raptors wouldn’t die, prevailing 125-122 in double overtime. It was a wild, emotional game in which all five Celtics starters and four Raptors starters played 47 or more exhausting minutes.

Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell were clutch for Toronto, while Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis were great for the Celtics. Unfortunately, Kemba Walker was 2 for 11 and just 5 points.

One thing to know up front:

The early minutes were all about Marcus, as he picked up 2 personals…

Lowry committed what could’ve been a flagrant foul, but the refs didn’t bother to check. Jaylen essentially told Lowry to piss off, then completed the 3-point play.

Lowry got away with other stuff, too.

Not a great first quarter, but the Cs were up.

On to the 2nd.

Jaylen: spectacular.

Celts got the lead up to 12, thanks to back-to-back treys by – yes – Brad Wanamaker.

Then Ibaka hit two straight triples to cut the lead in half. Then he hit another to cut it to 5.

Tatum finally made a three to make it 50-40, but Toronto closed on an 8-2 run. Incredibly, Jayson had just 8 points (although 9 rebounds and 4 assists) and Kemba was scoreless! Thank goodness for Jaylen.

Gasol opened the 3rd by draining his first triple of the series, drawing the Raps to within 52-51. Smart answered with his 4th three, then Van Vleet also made a trey, his first in 7 tries. There was good and bad happening.

Kemba finally got on the board.

Then some bullshit happened when Smart got under Van Vleet’s foot on a 3-point attempt and was called for a flagrant. FVV made all 3 FTs, then canned a corner triple.

It continued with Van Vleet making another three and Gasol, too, for a 70-64 Raptors lead.

In the mix was a sequence where Tatum drove and bumped Van Vleet, who was crowding him from the side. Offensive foul, negating a hoop. The next Raptors possession saw Siakam do almost exactly the same to Grant Williams – basket good, and-one.

Celts regrouped behind threes by Jayson and Grant, but it was another nightmare 3rd quarter, outscored 33-25. Jaylen was scoreless in the period.

And then, the 4th began and the Cs couldn’t miss from 3: a pair by Jaylen, one by Smart, another by Jayson, and Boston was back on top, 89-88.

Lowry, for all his flopping, is still a great player. He bombed two straight threes to retake the lead, 94-89. Smart responded with a driving and-one.

The Celtics continued to fight and tied the game at 98 on a Theis dunk from a Smart feed, 98-all with 2 minutes left. It stayed that way until the Celts’ final possession. Kemba drove to the rim – and missed. He got fouled, but (shrug emoji).

Incredibly, a foul was called on the last-second Toronto inbounds play, as Tatum went up to keep Anunoby from catching a lob. Fortunately, the Cs had a foul to give. One more inbounds play was stopped and it was overtime. Toronto didn’t score for the final 4 minutes.

Last-2-Minute Report probably gonna look bad.

In OT…

Toronto got a gift point when Tatum was T’d up for accidentally hitting a Raptor in the face on a drive. These rules are absurd. That point proved costly.

Powell got fouled and made both, 106-104, Raptors, with 1:32 left.  It stayed that way until Boston called time with the ball and 19.1 seconds remaining. Jaylen was fouled after the inbounds and calmly made both to tie it, 18.9 remaining.

Powell missed the last shot and we went to double OT.

The battle went back and forth in the second OT. Boston went up 4, Raps tied it, Smart hit a three, Powell matched it. Celts were up 2 when Theis was fouled with 3:07 to go – but the call was challenged and overturned. Raptors got possession and tied the game.

Finally, Anunoby hit a three to put Toronto up 1 and, after a steal, Powell scored a layup and-one. Raptors, 121-117 with 38.8 left.

Tatum quickly scored after a timeout, by Lowry hit a dagger jumper to restore the 4-point lead.

Tatum swished a desperate triple and it was 123-122. Powell was fouled with 5.0 seconds, made both, 125-122. A set play saw Tatum throw a long inbounds pass to Smart, who got a decent look to tie it, but missed as he was heavily contested.

Raptors shot 6 of 7 in the 2nd OT, including 2 threes, plus 5 of 5 at the line. Celts were 7 of 12 but zero FTs in the 5 minutes. Game 7 coming up.

The conversation now will be very much about the officiating, seeing as how the game turned around with the 6-point possession and then several replay reviews and contested calls all went Toronto’s way. Don’t take my word for it. Here are the thoughts of noted ref skeptic MikeWichter…

…Chuck, the realist…

…and one of the smartest, most sensible and reasonable people on Twitter, Dangercart. If he says this, something is really wrong.

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