By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Raptors looked to be taking over Game 2, but then Marcus Smart happened.
Smart went on a three-point tear early in the fourth quarter to erase an eight-point deficit and put the Celtics on top for good, as the C’s held on for a 102-99 win over the Raptors in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series. After the C’s started the final quarter down 78-70, Smart scored 16 straight Boston points in the first 4:05, draining five triples in a row with a free throw to top it off.
The point guard’s out-of-nowhere three-point parade stole the thunder from Jayson Tatum, who scored a game-high 34 points on 8-for-17 shooting in the game. He particularly made Toronto pay from the free-throw line, going 14-for-14 in that department. Contrast that with 19 points on 8-for-22 shooting from the Raptors’ leader in attempts, Fred VanVleet. OG Anunoby led the Raptors with 20 points on 7-for-12 from the field.
Toronto had a chance to tie the game with 35.1 seconds left in regulation, after Smart stripped the ball from a driving Pascal Siakam but was ruled out-of-bounds with possession. Siakam then stepped out of bounds on the ensuing Raptors possession to give the ball back to the Celtics, and a last-second prayer didn’t go.
The Raptors appeared to get their game going with a big third quarter, going on a 30-16 run en route to building a 12-point lead with 2:46 left in the frame. They entered the game as the league’s most productive team in transition (18.7 fast break points per game), and scored 10 points on layups to go with 4-for-9 shooting from downtown in the third. The run fell apart after Smart caught fire.
Toronto kept the game much more competitive than a blowout loss in Game 1, but continued their inefficient team shooting. They shot 11-for-40 (27.5 percent) from three, compared to 15-for-38 (39.5 percent) for the Celtics.
LISTEN: Smart drains 5 threes in a row
Up Next: The Celtics now have a 2-0 lead in the series. Game 3 between the Celtics and Raptors takes place on Thursday. You can hear the game right here on 98.5 The Sports Hub, starting with pregame at 6 p.m.
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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at email@example.com.