Raptors eradicated from NBA playoffs after dropping to Celtics in Sport 7

The Canadian Press

Printed Friday, September 11, 2020 7:47PM EDT

Final Up to date Saturday, September 12, 2020 12:34AM EDT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Toronto Raptors‘ season is over, the defending NBA champions accomplished in by turnovers.

Jayson Tatum had 29 factors whereas Jaylen Brown added 21 and the Boston Celtics beat Toronto 92-87 on Friday evening to take the best-of-seven Japanese Convention semifinal Four-Three.

The Celtics transfer on to face the Miami Warmth within the convention finals, whereas the Raptors head into an low season of uncertainty not like some other.

Fred VanVleet had 20 factors, whereas Kyle Lowry 16 factors, and Serge Ibaka completed with 14 off the bench for the Raptors.

“It is unhappy that we had extra to offer, and now we will not give anymore,” mentioned Lowry.

It was yet one more tough offensive evening for Pascal Siakam, who led the NBA in scoring this season earlier than the league shuttered on March 11 as a result of COVID-19. He performed like a shadow of himself after the restart, and had 13 factors and 11 rebounds within the decisive loss.

Norman Powell chipped in with 11 factors for Toronto.

However the Raptors performed just like the ball was slathered in butter, committing an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers. These turnovers led to 31 factors for the Celtics.

Boston had Toronto’s quantity for a lot of the season, successful three of 4 conferences within the common season to arrange what was anticipated to be a hard-fought collection. The seven-game slugfest – between division rivals who in some way had by no means met within the playoffs – did not disappoint.

Sport 7, appropriately, was a see-saw battle, the lead altering arms 11 instances earlier than the Celtics took a 72-71 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Celtics opened the fourth with a 7-Zero run punctuated by a horrible turnover by Siakam, who’s struggled mightily because the league restarted. A working dunk by Brown had Boston up by eight barely two minutes into the quarter.

A VanVleet deep three and Siakam’s tap-in pulled Toronto to inside 4, however then the Raptors unravelled as a result of turnovers. A pair of Tatum free throws stretched Boston’s benefit to 10 factors with Four:51 to play.

A Siakam free throw and finger roll by Lowry pulled Toronto to inside 4 with 1:55 remaining.

A pair of Lowry free throws made it a two-point sport however the Raptors‘ six-time all-star, who performed brilliantly by way of the collection, fouled out of the sport with 35.Four seconds left.

Grant Williams missed two free throws, then VanVleet air-balled a three-point try with 12 seconds left, and it was sport over for Toronto.

It was the Raptors‘ first Sport 7 look since Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beater towards Philadelphia lifted Toronto into final season’s convention finals.

Boston received Video games 1, 2 and 5. Anunoby’s jaw-dropping buzzer-beater to finish Sport Three salvaged the collection for the Raptors, who went on to take Sport 6 in double additional time.

After Leonard bolted for the L.A. Clippers final summer season, nearly nobody picked the Raptors to go this far. However, regardless of a slew of accidents, they completed second within the Japanese Convention, rebounding from the league’s four-month pause for COVID-19 to choose up the place they left off within the Disney World bubble.

Now the Raptors head into an low season of uncertainty. Whereas each post-season break comes with free company questions, the speedy way forward for the league is ambiguous proper now. Whereas the NBA hopes the 2020-21 common season can begin in December, the coronavirus may wreak havoc with subsequent season as nicely.

Friday’s nationwide anthem was a nostalgic distinction to the fanless enviornment at Walt Disney World, a reminder of final season’s Canada-wide celebration throughout Toronto’s historic Larry O’Brien Trophy run. “O’ Canada” was truly footage from Sport 5 of final yr’s NBA Finals, when Toronto opera singer Doug Tranquada led a loud Scotiabank Enviornment crowd in a stirring efficiency.

The Raptors, who had received their earlier three Sport 7 appearances, got here out flat and trailed by 12 factors early. However Nurse went to his bench shortly, sparking a 20-Four run capped by a VanVleet three, and Toronto took a 27-26 lead into the second quarter.

The Raptors began to hurry their offence within the second, turning the ball over seven instances for 13 Boston factors. The Celtics had a 15-2 run that turned Toronto’s seven-point lead changed into a six-point deficit, and the Raptors went into the halftime break trailing 50-46.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Sept. 11, 2020.