By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Celtics blew past the Toronto Raptors with 36 points in the fourth quarter en route to a 112-106 win in their 2019-20 home opener Friday night. Boston hit six fourth-quarter threes and had three players score over 20 points in the comeback win.
With the Celtics clinging to a 107-106 lead and 2:49 left in regulation, Jaylen Brown drained a three to give the C’s a late four-point advantage. Pascal Siakam missed a layup with Brown defending him on the ensuing possession, as an errant three-point attempt by Kyle Lowry also doomed the Raptors in the closing minutes.
Kemba Walker finished with 22 points in a bounce-back from a disappointing Boston debut. Brown and Jayson Tatum scored 25 points and nine rebounds each and tied for the team lead in both. They also made four assists each in an eerily consistent effort in the box score.
Ultimately showing why the Celtics signed him to a four-year maximum contract, Walker scored half of his 22 points in the fourth quarter alone. He came alive offensively for the first time as a Celtic after struggling for about a game and three quarters.
Siakam finished the game with 33 points, eight rebounds, and five three-pointers. He may be emerging as a true force in the NBA with the big-time follow-up to his 34-point performance in the Raptors’ season opener. Siakam nearly sank the Celtics with a 15-point third quarter as his length and athleticism gave them significant problems on the defensive end.
The Celtics faced more injuries in the frontcourt after Daniel Theis left the game with a sprained ankle, but he later returned. Rookie Grant Williams saw a spike in playing time in Theis’ absence, grabbing five points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench. Six of his seven boards came at the offensive end, making him just the second C’s rookie to do so since 2014-15 (per Celtics Stats).
Up Next: The Celtics head to New York to face the Knicks in the second game of a back-to-back on Saturday night. Game is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. You can get the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.