The Raptors, owners of the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference, return home on a bitter note, but must be happy with the season as a whole. Projected by many to struggle even to reach the playoffs after losing Kawhi Leonard, they came with a few breaks from the Eastern Conference Finals. They’ll be back next season, but for now the Celtics are the top-ranked Eastern Conference team on the pitch.
It took every minute of a seven-game streak, but the reigning champions relinquished their crown. The Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 92-87 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, pushing Boston into the last four and sending the Raptors home after an admirable defense from the title that few saw coming. Jayson Tatum led the way in Boston with 29 points, while Fred VanVleet was Toronto’s top scorer at 20.The Celtics will now face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, a game that looks familiar but hardly includes any of the faces from their previous playoffs. Udonis Haslem is the only player from either team to take part in the last Eastern Conference Finals game between these teams in 2012. So long, LeBron James and Paul Pierce, hello Tatum and Jimmy Butler.