Toronto Raptors even series with Celtics

Written By Erik Buchinger on September 5, 2020 - Last Updated on September 14, 2020

After falling to a 2-0 deficit in the first two games of their second round series with the Boston Celtics, the Toronto Raptors came right back to tie the series at two apiece with a pair of victories. The Raptors beat Boston 100-93 in Game 4 on Saturday, Sept. 5 in the NBA’s Orlando bubble.

Toronto power forward Pascal Siakam played 46 minutes and put together a solid stat line with 23 points and 11 rebounds. He shot 10 of 23 from the floor despite a 2-for-13 performance from the three-point line. The point and rebound numbers were both series highs for Siakam.

The Raptors’ second leading scorer was point guard Kyle Lowry, who filled up the stat sheet with 22 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists. He knocked down all eight free throw attempts and made 5 of 16 3-pointers. He followed up his 31-point performance in Game 3 with another solid showing to help Toronto even the series.

Raptors reserve big man Serge Ibaka came off the bench with 18 points and seven rebounds. He shot 7 of 9 from the floor and made all four three-point attempts.

Fred VanVleet added 17 points with six rebounds and six assists. He shot 5 of 11 from three-point range for Toronto.

For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum led all scorers with a game-high 24 points on 10 of 18 shooting from the floor. He struggled from long range, making just 1 of 6 3-pointers. He grabbed 10 rebounds to complete the double-double.

Kemba Walker added 15 points for the Raptors on 4 of 9 shooting from the floor and dished out eight assists.

Shooting guard Jaylen Brown added 14 points but struggled to shoot the ball. He finished 4 of 18 from the floor including 2 of 11 on 3-pointers. Marcus Smart had eight points, eight rebounds and five assists.

How they got here

Toronto entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed and quickly swept the seventh-seeded Brooklyn Nets, who recently hired Steve Nash to be their head coach. The Celtics came in as the third seed in the Eastern Conference and also finished off a four-game sweep, taking care of the Philadelphia 76ers. Just like the Nets, Philadelphia fired their coach following the series, though the 76ers have yet to hire a replacement.

After Toronto suffered a 112-94 loss in Game 1 of the series, the past three games have been fairly even with Boston earning a three-point win in Game 2 followed by the Raptors winning Games 3 and 4 by one and seven points, respectively.

Series by the bets

The underdog has covered the spread in all four games so far in this series. Toronto entered the first three games as favorites and failed to cover in all three. The Raptors were listed as the underdogs heading into the fourth game of the series when they covered their first spread of the series.

In the first four games, the under has hit in all four. The over/under point totals in order of games have been 217.5, 218.5, 216.5 and 215.5.

Numbers for the moneyline, point spread and point totals have yet to be released for the fifth game of the series.

What’s next?

The Raptors and Celtics will return to the floor on Monday, Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET for a pivotal Game 5 of the series. Game 6 will be played Wednesday, Sept. 9 with Game 7 on Friday, Sept. 11 if necessary. Potential game times have not been released for Game 6 or Game 7.

The winner of this series will face either the Miami Heat or Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee came into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but Miami has taken a 3-0 series. According to a popular United States sportsbook, Miami has -1667 odds to win the series with the Bucks at +820. The Bucks will be facing elimination in Game 4 on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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