Recap: Celtics snatch first victory of season with 112-106 win against the Raptors
In their home opener against the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors, the Celtics managed to bounce back from their disappointing loss in Philly to a pretty exciting, fun and close come from behind 112-106 victory.
Boston's Kemba Walker (22 points) faced off against fellow all-star point guard Kyle Lowry (29 points) in the Celtics' home opener against the Toronto Raptors. Photo via Barry Chin
The biggest positive of night, in my opinion, was the performances of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who may have been more in sync than they ever have been before.
Both members of Team Jay finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists apiece and overall just looked very confident in their respective games. Tatum added 3 steals to his stat line while Brown also had 2 blocks and shot 55% (11-20) on the night. Those doubting Brown and his new contract after the season opener may be taking a few steps back now and reconsidering their reaction.
Speaking of overreactions to the season opener, Kemba Walker also had a bounce-back night in Boston although it did not appear so at first. Having just 4 points at the half, it looked like Walker's early-season struggles were set to continue for two straight games. However, it was in the second half that Kemba stepped up and did what he needed to do to spark the comeback run and steal the game.
He scored 18 points in the final two quarters and ended up with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks on the night. In addition to that, he a streak of great defensive plays in crunch time, drawing fouls and forcing turnovers. As a result, Kemba certainly seemed happy with the performance of the team and the win in front of the home crowd.
Gordon Hayward also had a solid night after his impressive outing in the Celtics' first game. He had 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists in 36 minutes of play while shooting 41% (5-12) from the field. More importantly, though, he was actively involved with the primary offensive options for Boston in some of their biggest plays in the comeback win.
On the other side of the ball, Toronto's Pascal Siakam continued to prove his break out season last year was no one-hit-wonder. He totaled 33 points in 35 minutes on 50% shooting (11-22) while also grabbing 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Veteran point guard Kyle Lowry had a great night as well with 29 points of his own on 61% shooting and 7 assists. While the Celtics were able to get the win, these two champions certainly did not make it easy.