Celtics edge Raptors in overtime battle of Eastern powers

Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving

Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving

If you're looking for an analogy involving the Toronto Raptors, their depth and things found in nature, you won't hear anybody talking about puddles. He returned to Toronto with the Pistons and his team earned him a measure of revenge when Reggie Bullock hit a floater at the buzzer. Both are listed at 9-4 to win the East.

Jayson Tatum chipped in 21 for the Celtics and Gordon Hayward, who has struggled to find his shot so far after missing all of last season to an injury, had a big basket in OT and ended with 15 points. Kyle Lowry tweaked his right leg/ankle late in the third quarter but finished with eight points, eight assists and seven rebounds, while Danny Green was a ideal 7-for-7 from the field for 17 points. This is the first in a pair of back-to-backs for the Raptors in this four-game road trip. "And I'm pretty sure we'll see them down the road". We're in a position now where we have an opportunity to start building that. "If we're able to do that, we'll have a chance to be special".

"I was wondering if they were going to take me out of the game", he said.

Trailing 82-78 at the end of the third quarter, the Celtics were down 86-78 after Leonard's layup with 10:37 left in the fourth.

Manpower continues to be a problem for the Raptors. Serge Ibaka (right knee soreness) was a late scratch. After giving up a 19-point lead against the Pistons on Wednesday, Toronto led by eight with 10:24 remaining against the Celtics, but couldn't slow Kyrie Irving who scored 23 of his season-high 43 in the fourth quarter and overtime. The self-proclaimed King did, in fact, select Irving in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game draft and has done his best to prove he doesn't have any animosity toward his ex-teammate since the day Irving demanded a trade out of Cleveland.

Marcus Morris missed Wednesday's game for the Celtics because of illness and was questionable for Friday.

The Celtics had been in a mini-funk the past couple of weeks, losing four of their past six, and they entered the night 24th in the National Basketball Association in scoring (105.6 points per game) and 28th in shooting percentage (.429). Toronto swept the 2017-18 season series against the Bulls.

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