Celtics Topple Raptors for 12th Straight Win
BOSTON (Dispatches) - The Celtics earned their 12th straight NBA win by defeating the Toronto Raptors 95-94 at TD Garden in Boston on Sunday.
Playing without star point guard Kyrie Irving, the Celtics worked their way back from a five-point halftime deficit. Al Horford returned to the lineup after missing two games with a concussion, and he scored 21 points on eight-of-nine shooting, while also dishing out four assists.
The Celtics are no strangers to playing without key players. Gordon Hayward (out for the season), Jayson Tatum, Irving and Horford have all missed time, yet they remain atop the Eastern Conference standings. Marcus Smart started in place of Irving on Monday, and he scored 14 points with nine assists and five rebounds. Backup point guard Terry Rozier added 16 points with six rebounds.
Boston has averaged just 102.2 points per game so far this season, which is third-worst in the East. But they have held teams to an NBA-best 94.0 points per game. If the Celtics can continue playing stifling defense, they could be tough to beat once the lineup is near full strength.
Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley led the Detriot Pistons to a 112-103 win over the Heat. Harris scored 25 points, making five of eight attempts from three-point range while hauling in seven rebounds. Bradley added 24 points with six rebounds and two steals. Detroit has now won five straight games and eight of their last nine.