Rapid Recap: Celtics dominate Raptors, 112-94, in Game 1


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.

In the first-ever playoff meeting between the franchises, the Celtics had their way with the Raptors, 112-94, to take a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The Celtics dominated all day, never trailing and leading by as much as 24. Boston shot 47.0% and held Toronto to 36.9%. The Cs also made 17 of 39 threes (Marcus Smart 5, Kemba Walker 4), while the Raps were just 10 of 40.

The defense kept Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet in check all day (combined 10 of 44 shooting). Only the Celtics’ maddening habits of missing layups and committing turnovers (22) kept this from being a 30- or 40-point massacre.

Bad sign early

Good sign early.

Celtics’ defense started aggressively, and it paid off with an 11-3 lead after 4 minutes.

However, Celts missed some early opportunities, including Jayson Tatum flubbing a layup and Jaylen Brown a dunk.

Timelord was the first sub off the bench.

Jaylen abused Pascal Siakam early – 9 points in 8 minutes, including a 4-point play that forced the Raptor wing to the bench with 3 fouls. Nick Nurse challenged this call and lost, then picked up a technical.


After 12 minutes, the Celts led 39-23, even though Tatum scored only 2 points. That’s because Boston was 6 of 9 on threes and overall shot 59.1% to Toronto’s 36.4%.

The 2nd quarter began poorly for Boston. The Raptors went to a zone defense, which helped them score 10 straight and get back in it at 39-30.

Daniel Theis turned it over several times against the zone, and yet…

Tatum started getting some shots to fall and the Cs regained control.

Kemba took a bump near his troublesome left knee, but he looked okay…

…and he ended the half in style.

Here’s a fact that can make you either confident (it’s guaranteed!) or afraid (the law of averages!).

Jaylen and Kemba began the 3rd by swishing left corner threes, and when Marcus hit from the right corner, the lead bulged to 68-46.

But Celtics fans know to be cautious.

Theis picked up his 4th foul, but Rob was ready again.

Celts continued to be on fire from 3.

And Timelord showed up again.

And there were stops.

It was all looking good, except for the Celtics continuing to miss a ton of layups. Then Toronto had a 10-2 burst to close within 13. A buzzer-beater by Tatum restored the lead to 88-73.

The Raps wouldn’t quit. Lowry opened the 4th with an and-one and they were within 12. However, the Celts regrouped and got the lead back to 18, still playing defense.


In the end, the Raptors never got closer than a dozen points. With 8 minutes left, Ibaka showed his frustration with a flagrant.

Romeo Langford put the cherry on top.

For the second straight season, the Celts have swept Round One and dominated the opener of Round Two. Last year, they then went on to lose four straight. So, take nothing for granted, but also remember this:

Box score

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