The Celtics came out with what seemed to be a sense of urgency against the Raptors on Wednesday at TD Garden, and while they ultimately let Toronto hang around, Boston still did enough to pull out its first home win of the season with a 104-88 verdict.
The Celtics, who now have won three of their last four games, improved to 5-6 while Toronto fell to 6-6.
View full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said before the game he believed Boston’s identity was starting to come together, and that took another step in the right direction Wednesday. The Celtics, playing without Jaylen Brown, won the game on the defensive end of the floor while controlling both the paint and the boards against a smaller Raptors group.
All told, Boston came away with 10 steals on 17 Toronto turnovers and scored 26 points off those turnovers. The Celtics allowed the Raptors to hang around due to a poor third quarter, but those issues were much more related to the offense (five turnovers, 18 total points) than they were the defensive side. Toronto entered Wednesday averaging just shy of 105 points per game and were limited to 22 points or less in each of the last three quarters.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Robert Williams was an absolute mad man during the first half, and it continued through much of the second half, as well. Williams scored 14 of his 16 points before the intermission and grabbed nine of his 13 rebounds before the half, as well. He finished with a career-best eight offensive rebounds.
— Josh Richardson was making his impact at both ends of the floor. He hit a key 3-pointer during the third quarterback to help Boston maintain its double-digit lead. Richardson, who’s playing in his first season with Boston, finished with 15 points off the bench on 5-for-9 shooting with three steals and one block.
— Jayson Tatum was shooting 6-for-19 entering the fourth quarter, but ultimately made some timely buckets that helped Boston pull away. Tatum finished with a team-high 22 points on 8-for-24 from the field but stuffed the stat sheet with 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Looking for immediate satisfaction (or devastation)? Celtics forward Al Horford scored the first basket of Wednesday’s game, and he presented plenty of value in regards to the first basket propositional bet. Horford entered the game at 10-to-1, which meant a $10 bet on Horford to score first would have made one lucky bettor $100 richer with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Celtics will return to TD Garden on Friday as they host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks with tip scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.