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Celtics Dominate Raptors in Game 1
(3:01)

After a first round that was decidedly anti-climactic, there was plenty of excitement for the second-round series in the Eastern Conference. Game 1 between the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, however, did not live up to expectations, as the Celtics cruised to an 18-point win. Hopefully things will pick up in Game 2, which is set for Tuesday evening.

The Raptors got behind by double digits early, and were never able to really get back in the game on Sunday. Kyle Lowry had a solid performance despite his ankle injury in Game 4 of the first round, but Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet were underwhelming, combining for 24 points on 8 of 32 from the field. 

Boston, meanwhile, has to feel great about how they defended the Raptors, and shot the ball from downtown. Led by 21 points each from Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart, all five Celtics starters finished in double figures, while Robert Williams came off the bench for one of his best games all season. 

How to Watch Raptors-Celtics Game 2

  • Date: Tuesday, Sept. 1 | 5:40 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
  • Odds: Raptors -1.5 | Over/Under: 216

Storylines

Raptors: No team wants to start a playoff series by getting blown out in Game 1, but if there’s any consolation for the Raptors, it’s that things probably can’t get worse. They shot 10 of 40 from downtown, which was one of their worst shooting performances all season, and got almost nothing from Siakam and VanVleet. Their struggles in the halfcourt are a concern, but they should be able to bounce back in this series.

Celtics: Game 1 went as well as the Celtics could have hoped. Their 17 3-pointers were two shy of a playoff franchise record, all five starters were in double figures and they held the Raptors’ best players in check. If they can get a win in Game 2, it will tie the 1986 Celtics for the most consecutive wins to start a postseason — not a bad squad to be in company with. To do that, though, they’ll need to limit their turnovers — 22 in Game 1 — and continue to lock in on defense.

Game prediction

The Raptors are slight 1.5-point favorites for Game 2, with Vegas oddsmakers expecting a bounce back performance from them. That sounds about right. Even though the Celtics won big in Game 1, this series should be pretty even, and the Raptors will be eager to get back on track. Pick: Raptors -1.5

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