Raptors show no mercy in win against rival Celtics

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After the Boston Celtics got blown out by the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday by a final score of 118-95, general manager Danny Ainge and star point guard Kyrie Irving had a one-on-one conversation in the locker room before the media was let in. Are the Celtics a poor bet to at least cover the spread tonight in Toronto where they'll visit the Raptors at 8:00 p.m. ET? Sitting in fifth place with a 37-23 record, Boston needs a win in Toronto to pull within striking distance of the Philadelphia 76ers for the fourth seed.

"But I'm always going to continue to get better". When Stevens' opponents have a win rate of 70% or higher, Boston is 20-7 (74.1%) against-the-spread (ATS) in January or later, covering the spread by 3.5 points per game.

It's no secret that Aron Baynes is the engine that keeps the Boston Celtics' defence ticking, with his team in freefall on the defensive end since the big man went down. Norman Powell added 11 and Kyle Lowry scored seven points and had 11 assists. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 26.9 points and 7.6 rebounds while Pascal Siakam is averaging 16.1 points and seven rebounds.

-Jayson Tatum is the only player that shot 50% or better from the field (5/10) and scored 11 points in under 25 minutes. In total, the Raptors will have 16 of their games televised to a US audience before the end of the regular season, the most since Vince Carter was a local deity back in the early 2000s.

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Boston leads this season series 2-1, but Toronto has a 6.5-game lead in the Eastern Conference's battle for home court in the playoffs. "But we came out pretty aggressive and that led to us to early points in transition". A pair of emphatic dunks from Leonard, with the latter coming after another Boston turnover, extended Toronto's lead to 20 points at 59-39 three minutes before halftime. The Raptors next game is in primetime on Tuesday against the Celtics. The Celtics won their only frame and went into the second with the lead, 32-30.

It all amounted to the Raptors waltzing off the floor with an inspiring 66-45 advantage at the half.

-The Raptors beat the Celtics in just about every category, but this one stood out to me: fast-break points. Siakam took the ball off a bad pass from Morris and went coast to coast before easily drilling the basket.

With just under nine minutes left in the second quarter, and the Raptors' game-finishing run well underway, Jaylen Brown barrelled towards the paint and ended up getting called for a charge, infuriating teammate Marcus Smart, who was setting up in the right corner and had a wide-open three if Brown hadn't been as tunnel-vision focused on trying to make something happen.

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