Celtics Wrap: Despite Injury Pile Up, Boston Improves Win Streak

No Tatum, Smart and Williams III, no problem


January 21

The Celtics improved their winning streak to nine-consecutive games, securing a 106-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.

The Celtics improved their NBA-best record to 35-12 while the Raptors dropped to 20-27.

Check out the full box score here.

Injuries piled up for the Celtics on Saturday afternoon, essentially forcing interim coach Joe Mazzulla to roll with a number of unfamiliar lineups and enter the unknown for the majority of the night.

Somehow, it worked out.

After entering the game without Jayson Tatum, the Celtics eventually ruled out both Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III at halftime due to respective lower-body injuries. That opened up opportunities for Payton Pritchard, Luke Kornet and Blake Griffin off the bench, but more notably, increased the roles of Malcolm Brogdon and Grant Williams.

Those two, alongside a recently returning Jaylen Brown, were forced into running the Celtics offense against a pesky Raptors defense. Their consistent shot making and tremendous defensive intensity in the fourth quarter, which started with an 22-8 Celtics run.

Toronto made it far from easy, needing to win a jump ball to get one final shot at the win. Horford won two in a row, but an offensive foul gave the Raptors a chance to go up the court, but Horford stole the ball for a ninth-consecutive victory.

In a season full of quality wins, Saturday’s is one of the most impressive.

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— Brogdon was the Celtics’ best ball handler, running the offense on a number of stretches. He finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a block.

— Precious Achiuwa was tremendous for Toronto. He had 17 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and three blocks in the losing effort.

— Grant Williams was superb in his extended opportunity off the bench. The 24-year-old finished with a career-high 25 points, adding five rebounds and a block.

— Pritchard gets the nod as an extra star, hitting some insanely clutch shots down the stretch. He was 4-of-7 from three, finishing with 12 points, two rebounds and two assists.

Scottie Barnes opened up the scoring, cashing the first basket prop in which DraftKings Sportsbook gave him +800 odds. The early lay in netted a +900 payout for those who placed +100 bets.

The Celtics will continue their three-game road trip when they take on the Orlando Magic on Monday night. Tipoff from Amway Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports Images
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