The Boston Celtics drained 19 three-pointers and withstood a furious attack from the Toronto Raptors – including a last-second basket that was waived off – to secure a 113-111 preseason win in front of an energetic TD Garden crowd on Saturday night.
Jayson Tatum paced the Green with 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists but shot just 6-of-15 from the floor. Al Horford contributed 16 points (burying all four of his three-point attempts) and his trademark all-around play.
Romeo Langford tallied 13 points (3-of-4 from downtown) in relief of Jaylen Brown, who sat following a positive COVID-19 test.
Boston out-shot and out-rebounded Toronto and piled up more assists, but the Raptors stayed in the contest by converting 37 points off turnovers. Boston handed the ball over to the opposition an unsightly 23 times.
The Raptors were also buoyed by Fred VanVleet’s six three-pointers.
The Raps led 86-85 going into the fourth as the benches took over. Josh Richardson and Payton Pritchard keyed a run that led to an 11-point Boston advantage midway through the fourth, but Toronto clapped back with their own 8-0 run, capped by a Sam Dekker triple with 44 seconds left to tie the game.
After David Johson hit a jumper to tie the game again with 19 seconds left, he fouled on an inbounds play with seven seconds remaining, allowing Juancho Hernangomez to convert a couple of free throws for Boston. A last-second tip by Toronto twisted through the twine, but the red light was already on and the game over.
Boston had a 10-point lead less than three minutes into the game and led by 15 after one. Toronto posted a 43-point second quarter and drilled five consecutive three pointers to take a 59-57 lead into the half.
VanVleet had 22 for the Raptors. O.G. Anunoby chipped in 17, while Precious Achiuwa double-doubled with 13 points and 13 rebounds, to go along with three steals.
The Celtics travel to Orlando for a preseason rematch with the Magic on Wednesday night. Boston squeaked by Orlando 98-97 in their preseason opener. Coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Sean Sylver can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Talk hoops with him on Twitter @TheSylverFox.