Rap­tors fall to surg­ing Celtics

Toronto falls just short 95-94 to Bos­ton

The Beacon Herald - - SPORTS - GETHIN COOLBAUGH THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

BOS­TON — Al Hor­ford had 21 points in his re­turn from a twogame ab­sence be­cause of a con­cus­sion and the Bos­ton Celtics hung on to beat the Toronto Rap­tors 95-94 on Sun­day for their 12th straight vic­tory.

Bos­ton (12-2) was play­ing with­out Kyrie Irv­ing af­ter he took an in­ad­ver­tent el­bow to the face from team­mate Aron Baynes on Fri­day night against Char­lotte. Irv­ing has a mi­nor fa­cial frac­ture but has not been di­ag­nosed with a con­cus­sion as ini­tially feared.

Jaylen Brown added 18 points, and Terry Rozier helped fill in for Irv­ing with 16 points off the bench. Bos­ton shot just 40.2 per cent from the field.

DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, and Kyle Lowry had 19 points and seven re­bounds for Toronto. The Rap­tors dropped to 7-5 af­ter win­ning two straight.

Jayson Ta­tum’s ac­ro­batic layup with 1:26 re­main­ing in the fourth quar­ter put the Celtics up 95-90.

DeRozan missed a po­ten­tial goa­head step­back jumper with 19 sec­onds re­main­ing. Ta­tum got the re­bound, but el­bowed Fred VanVleet in the face for an of­fen­sive foul that was con­firmed by video re­view.

DeRozan had an­other look to give Toronto the win, but missed a turn­around jumper with 2 sec­onds left. Serge Ibaka scooped up the re­bound, but lost the ball as time ex­pired. The Celtics took a 77-76 lead into the fourth af­ter fight­ing back from nine down.

DeRozan and Lowry scored 21 of the Rap­tors’ 24 first-quar­ter points, but com­bined for just five in the sec­ond as Toronto led by five at half­time.

Masked Kyrie

Irv­ing vis­ited a fa­cial spe­cial­ist Sun­day and was fit­ted for a mask af­ter be­ing in­jured Fri­day. The last time Irv­ing played in a mask was on Dec. 15, 2012, when he scored a then-ca­reer-high 41 points ver­sus New York with Cleve­land.

Tip-Ins

Lowry’s 3-pointer with 5:32 left in the first quar­ter moved him past An­drea Bargnani (6,581 points) into fourth place on Toronto’s all-time scor­ing list . ... DeRozan had 20 or more points for the sev­enth straight reg­u­lar sea­son game in Bos­ton and is av­er­ag­ing 22 points in that stretch. ... Nor­man Pow­ell left the game with a right hip pointer.

Up Next

The Rap­tors con­tinue a three­game trip Tues­day night against Hous­ton.

WINSLOW TOWNSON/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Toronto Rap­tors for­ward OG Anunoby goes in for a dunk past Bos­ton Celtics’ Terry Rozier (12), Mar­cus Mor­ris and Jaylen Brown (7) dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of an NBA bas­ket­ball game, in Bos­ton on Sun­day.

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