The Boston Celtics earned a huge victory on Saturday night, taking down the Toronto Raptors by a score of 106-104. It was a hard-fought contest that Toronto controlled for the majority of the game. Despite that, Boston kept pushing and ultimately came out on top.
There were plenty of late-game dramatics in the contest, as it came down to the final moments. With under 15 seconds to go, Pascal Siakam drove to the hoop, but Al Horford blocked the shot, forcing a jump ball. However, after the game, Siakam called out Horford, saying that he felt “a lot of hands” on the play – he thought he was fouled.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” Siakam said via CLNS Media. “To me, it felt like it was a lot of hands. [It] could have went either way. I thought it was a foul, but again, it wasn’t called. And I got the ball back, and I thought it [was] still in play. But I didn’t get it.”
Horford won the jump ball, but immediately got tied up with Scottie Barnes, leading to another jump ball – which Horford won again. However, Grant Williams fouled Toronto before the ball was inbounded, giving the Raptors possession back. Luckily for Boston, Horford stole the ball from Siakam before the Raptors could get a shot up, and the Celtics walked away with the win.
The Celtics big man came up big for Boston for the second game in a row. He ended the night with just five points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block on a rough 2-of-10 shooting from the field and 1-of-6 shooting from deep. However, his play in the final moments – winning two jump balls and getting the game-winning steal – was enough for him to leave his mark.
As for Siakam, the Raptors star finished the game with 29 points, nine rebounds, and 10 assists on 14-of-23 shooting from the field and 0-of-4 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Marcus Smart & Rob Williams Injury Updates
If that wasn’t enough drama, however, the Celtics dealt with multiple injuries. Jaylen Brown fell into the knee of Robert Williams, and Marcus Smart suffered a non-contact ankle injury. Both were ruled out for the remainder of the game at halftime.
“Joe Mazzulla said Rob Williams hyperextended his knee but it’s nothing serious. Marcus Smart’s knee is fine, but his rolled ankle will be a day-to-day issue at this point per Mazzulla,” Weiss tweeted.
Stephen A. Smith Praises Celtics
But despite the injuries and the closely-contested contest against Toronto (in which Boston was missing Jayson Tatum), they’re still sitting atop the NBA. And according to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, the Celtics are the best team in the league.
“Boston’s the best team in basketball,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take. “They can hurt you in a multitude of ways. Right now, I don’t think anybody would argue with the fact that Jayson Tatum is a leading league MVP candidate; he is a superstar. They have the best depth in the NBA, one could argue about Denver as well, but I’m gonna pick the Celtics for the moment. And, not to mention the fact that their defense can turn it up a notch when Robert Williams is on the court. Right now, the Boston Celtics are easily the favorites to win it all.”