Toronto Raptors beat Celtics in classic 2OT, Force 7 game


The Raptors had a three-point lead and the ball with less than a second to go in double overtime, but Marcus Smart didn’t give up. The Celtics guard collapsed in an attempt to draw a foul. This desperate move has been rightly ignored (for now).

The battle was not over.

While Smart was hanging out on the field after the deadline expired, Toronto guard Fred VanVleet bit Smart. Smart grew more and more animated and the Boston staff held him back as the Raptors lined up in front of him.

The battle is not over.

Toronto beat the Celtics 125-122 in double overtime in Game 6 Wednesday to force Game 7 of the second round series Friday.

How much will a team have left in the tank? In the first multiple-overtime game this deep in a playoff series since Game 6 of the Bulls-Celtics in 2009 (triple overtime), nine players played at least 47 minutes.

But both teams also jumped late in what had been a slow-paced defensive brawl (with both teams shooting better than 40% on 3 points). The 35 combined points of second overtime – Toronto 19, Boston 16 – were the fourth-scorest in overtime in the playoffs in the age of the clock.

Norman Powell particularly stepped up, scoring 15 of his 23 points in overtime.

As has been the case throughout the series, the Raptors were on top when Kyle Lowry (33 points, eight rebounds and six assists) came out on top. As was also the case: Pascal Siakam (12 points on 5 shots out of 19) struggled as a scorer.

Toronto made life difficult for Kemba Walker (five points on 2 of 11 shots) and Jayson Tatum, although Tatum (29 points on 9 shots of 21 with 14 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks) found plenty of ways to contribute.

Smart (23 points on 6 shots on 11 to 3 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) played brilliantly. Jaylen Brown (31 points on 30 shots with 14 rebounds) voluntarily played a role of predilection while his teammates were targeted.

Still, the Raptors made just enough plays to extend their title defense by five more minutes, then five more minutes and now one more game.


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