Celtics Wrap: Jaylen Brown’s 30 Points Power Boston To Christmas Day Win

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It was a very merry Christmas for the Celtics.

Boston extended its win streak to four Wednesday afternoon with a 118-102 win over the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. After back-and-forth action kept the contest relatively close through two quarters, the C’s pulled away in the third and never looked back.

Jaylen Brown led the way for the visitors with a game-high 30 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including a 5-for-7 clip from 3-point range. Kemba Walker added 22 points for the C’s, while Enes Kanter logged his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Fred VanVleet paced the Raptors with 27, while Chris Boucher notched a career-high 24 points.

With the win, the Celtics improve to 21-7, while the Raptors fall to 21-10.

Here’s how it all went down:

STARTING FIVE
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Daniel Theis

RUN FOR RUN
The Raptors came out firing and grabbed a 10-0 lead in less than two minutes thanks in large to a pair of 3-pointers from Kyle Lowry, the second of which forced the Celtics to take their first timeout of the contest.

Boston had no issues regrouping, as it responded with a 15-4 run after the timeout to take its first lead of the game with just over four minutes left in the first quarter. The C’s finished the opening frame strong and held a 28-19 lead after 12 minutes of play, which saw the Raptors commit seven turnovers. Walker paced the visitors with eight first-quarter points, including two 3-pointers. Kanter provided six off the bench.

BENCH BOOSTS
Both teams received lifts from their reserves in the second quarter, which concluded with the Celtics holding a 55-47 lead.

Kanter carried the momentum from his solid first and pitched in a team-high six second-quarter points. The Raptors, meanwhile, received 10 from Boucher as well as six from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Starting guards also left their marks on the second. Walker swelled his first-half total to 13 with five in the second as Fran VanVleet registered 10 points after being held scoreless in the first.

Each side also endured a minor injury scare in the second. Grant Williams sustained a dislocated finger roughly 30 seconds into the quarter, but X-rays quickly came back negative and he was deemed available to return. Lowry also spent a few minutes in the locker room before returning to the Raptors bench shortly before half time.

JB TAKES OVER
The Raptors remained within striking distance throughout the first half, but the Celtics gained some breathing room in the third thanks to Brown.

The fourth-year swingman went off for 16 points in the quarter on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting mark, including a trio of buckets from beyond the arc. Brown’s efforts helped Boston hold an 88-69 lead heading into the final frame.

The Celtics as a team knocked down seven 3-pointers in the third, including two from Walker, who eclipsed the 20-point threshold for the game with seven in the quarter. It was a lackluster stanza for the Raptors, who only were able to log 16 shot attempts.

FINISHING TOUCHES
The Raptors never laid down, but they also never really threatened to stage a comeback.

The Celtics kept their foot on the gas in the fourth quarter, extending their lead to as large as 22 points. Boston spread out the scoring over the final 12 minutes, as eight players registered points, highlighted by Brad Wanamaker’s six. VanVleet’s 10 points in the fourth sparked a little life in Toronto, but they were nowhere near enough.

PLAY OF THE GAME
Brown gave Hollis-Jefferson a new pair of skates for Christmas.

UP NEXT
The Celtics return home Friday for a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tip-off from TD Garden is set for 4 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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