By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
OG Anunoby was the only person who could outdo Cardiac Kemba in Thursday’s Game 3 meeting between the Celtics and Raptors.
In a game that was all Kemba, to the tune of a game-high 29 points on 9-for-15 shooting, it was Walker that ran around the Toronto swarm and came through with an absolute fantastic dish to Daniel Theis for a slam that put up Boston up 103-101 with just half a second remaining in the fourth quarter. It was the exclamation point on a night that saw Walker score 21 first-half points and come through a massive two-way effort that created a five-point swing with the Celtics in pursuit of a comeback.
But with half a second left on the clock, the Raptors weren’t dead yet.
And not even Tacko Fall in Kyle Lowry’s face on the inbound pass could prevent the Raptors from snatching victory, and making this a series by way of a 104-103 final that’s sliced Boston’s series lead in half, at 2-1.
Perhaps this was a truly fitting end to a game that featured a staggering 16 lead changes (I’m pretty sure about almost all of them came in the fourth quarter), and with the Celtics opting not to put a body on Anunoby.
(Oh, and Lowry probably deserves a national award of some sort for throwing that kind of dime over the 7-foot-5 Fall.)
The biggest difference in this one came with Toronto three-headed monster of Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam making a legitimate difference for the win, with a combined 72 points on 46.6 percent shooting. This was a 20-point increase in production from the trio’s Game 2 totals, and a 31-point uptick from their Game 1 scoring.
Jayson Tatum, meanwhile, struggled mightily in this one with just 15 points on 5-for-18 shooting, including just one make on four attempts from downtown. That 27.8 percent from the floor was Tatum’s second-worst shooting percentage night since the C’s started life in the bubble, besting only Tatum’s 2-for-18 effort in the Green’s July 31 opener against the Bucks.
The loss also put an end to what was a six-game playoff win streak for the C’s.
Up Next: The Celts will look to take a 3-1 series lead when these teams get together for another 6:30 p.m. start, this time on Saturday night. 98.5 The Sports will have complete coverage, with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell on the call.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.