Toronto Raptors unable to pull away in close loss to the Boston Celtics

Nickeem Khan
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Saturday, October 9, 2021

The preseason continues for the Toronto Raptors as they faced another divisional rival in the Boston Celtics, unfortunately losing 113-111. It was relatively a closely contested game throughout but if there was a team that had an advantage it was definitely the Celtics.

The Raptors were coming off a beatdown from the Philadelphia 76ers in their last game and it was mainly due to their inability to put the ball in the basket. Besides OG Anunoby there hardly was anyone contributing. That wasn't the case on Saturday night.

OG continued to light it up in the scoring column finishing with 17 points along with five rebounds and a steal. His offensive game impressed yet again especially when it came to the shots he was taking. There was a possession in the first half where OG called for an isolation play and took a sidestep three off the dribble and drained it. That was something that was completely new to his repertoire and will be a delight to the Raptors if he is consistent with shot-making like that.

However, it was Fred VanVleet who led the Raptors in scoring with 22 points, which was a game-high. There were also great contributions from Gary Trent Jr and Svi Mykhailiuk combining for 27 points off the bench. Svi in particular has been making a case to be a prominent player within head coach Nick Nurse's rotations when it comes time for the regular season.

Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 20 points, but the Raptor killer Payton Pritchard had another strong outing against Toronto with 11 points off the bench in just 17 minutes.

Toronto controlled the ball much greater than the Celtics only turning over the ball 13 times compared to Boston's 23. However, Boston shot it better from the three-point line connecting on 19, while Toronto made just 16, which proved to be the difference-maker in the end.

The Raptors will look to bounce back from this performance on Monday back home against the youthful Houston Rockets at 7 PM ET.