Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown Help Celtics Rout Raptors to Take 3-2 Series Lead

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown Help Celtics Rout Raptors to Take 3-2 Series Lead

Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart (36) yells to his team after scoring during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Toronto Raptors' Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics are back in control of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors.

Boston seized a 3-2 lead in the matchup with a 111-89 win in Monday’s Game 5 at Walt Disney World Resort. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker led the way in the victory and helped their team bounce back from two straight losses that gave Toronto the momentum.

A solid showing from Fred VanVleet was not enough for the Raptors, who will now have to win two in a row again to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight season.

Notable Player Stats

  • Jaylen Brown, G, BOS: 27 PTS, 6 REB, 3 STL
  • Jayson Tatum, F, BOS: 18 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST
  • Kemba Walker, G, BOS: 21 PTS, 7 AST, 4 REB
  • Marcus Smart, G, BOS: 12 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST
  • Fred VanVleet, G, TOR: 18 PTS, 5 AST, 3 STL
  • Kyle Lowry, G, TOR: 10 PTS, 5 AST, 2 STL
  • Pascal Siakam, F, TOR: 10 PTS, 4 REB

Abysmal 1st Half Sinks Raptors

Toronto had all the momentum entering the game following two straight wins and figured to come out of the gates accordingly.

So much for that.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

https://t.co/AhIy9vHcgb https://t.co/t3JRYDVKCP

br_betting @br_betting

Raptors betting seeing the halftime score https://t.co/f7ILY3JrMi

Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball

Uhhhh… Raptors?

The defending champions could not have started worse on the offensive end, scoring a mere 11 points in the first quarter and 35 points in the entire opening half. The TNT broadcast noted both numbers were playoff lows for any team this year, underscoring how truly ugly things were as Toronto shot 28.6 percent from the field and 17.6 percent from three.

Toronto struggled throughout its lineup, as VanVleet dealt with early foul trouble, Kyle Lowry couldn’t find his touch and Pascal Siakam had trouble even finding openings with a mere three field-goal attempts at intermission.

Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA

The Celtics defense has been outstanding, especially hustling back on defense to prevent transition chances by the Raptors. There are always multiple guys back. Major key for them since Toronto led the NBA in transition. But only a 14-point lead. Feels like it should be more.

Josh Eberley🇨🇦 @JoshEberley

Raptors should probably start scoring

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

Lowry’s first FT with 23.3 seconds left saved the Raptors from history — the franchise record for fewest points in a playoff quarter was 9. That gave them 10.

It wasn’t all just Raptors struggles, as Boston’s defense deserves plenty of credit. It prevented the easy transition opportunities Toronto thrives on and set the tone by challenging outside shooters and swarming to cut off penetration.

The Raptors looked better for stretches in the second half, but it was too late at that point.

Jaylen Brown Returns to Form for Celtics

Boston failed to even reach triple digits for the first time all playoffs in the last game in large part because of Brown’s poor shooting touch.

Brown was just 4-of-18 from the field and 2-of-11 from three-point range, although it was indicative of the team’s overall struggles from deep. Toronto swarmed the Celtics on the three-point line, holding them to 20 percent from beyond the arc and keeping everyone but Tatum in check.

In fact, Tatum was the only Boston player to score more than 15 points in Game 4.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JAYLEN JAM 💥 https://t.co/Cq9FX4cfPq

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Kemba cookin 🔥 https://t.co/UrR65GlDyL

Boston Celtics @celtics

.@KembaWalker loves any kind of buzzer shot 🔥 https://t.co/alGhAE3dzn

Boston Celtics @celtics

Marcus being Marcus ¯_(ツ)_/¯ https://t.co/VeekVnA9we

Boston Celtics @celtics

.@jaytatum0 gets himself going 🔥 https://t.co/hRpVXlKHD5

Brown made sure that would not be the case Monday, unleashing a monster slam over OG Anunoby in the first quarter and aggressively seeking out shots off the bounce and taking advantage of additional space from downtown.

Brown wasn’t the only one, as Marcus Smart and Walker facilitated when not finding their own shots and Tatum mixed in a handful of his smooth drives while battling for boards. By the time Walker connected on a buzzer-beating floater to end the first half, the game was all but over.

Even Daniel Theis and Brad Wanamaker reached double figures in a balanced effort.

The Celtics will need players like Brown, Walker and Smart to provide critical offensive support for Tatum if they are going to win the championship, and they were up to the task in Game 5.

What’s Next?

Game 6 of the series is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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