RECAP: Semi Ojeleye’s career night lifts Celtics over Raptors

By Field Level Media
Feb 11, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives to the basket wile Toronto Raptors center Aron Baynes (46) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Semi Ojeleye scored a career-high 24 points, Payton Pritchard added 20 and the Boston Celtics made 20 3-pointers on their way to a 120-106 victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.

Ojeleye and Pritchard each hit six 3s as the Celtics won for just the second time in their last five games. Kemba Walker scored 21 points on five treys, and Jayson Tatum had 17 points and nine assists. Jaylen Brown chipped in a 12-point, 10-assist double-double despite 3-for-14 shooting.

Boston had assists on 30 of its 39 baskets and shot 51.3 percent from behind the arc.

Kyle Lowry had 24 points, Pascal Siakam 23 and Norman Powell 15 to lead the Raptors, who lost for the second time in their last seven. Toronto had 19 3-pointers in a victory Wednesday, but only made 9 of 32 (32.1 percent) against Boston.

The Celtics never trailed, nailing 12 threes in the first half on their way to a 66-56 lead. Ojeleye had five 3-pointers and 19 points, while Pritchard had four and 14.

Ojeleye, Pritchard and Walker each connected from deep as Boston pushed ahead 86-71 with 5:53 remaining in the third. Toronto responded with a 6-0 run before both teams went scoreless for nearly four minutes, as Grant Williams ended the stretch with 48.1 seconds left. The Celtics entered the fourth up 88-80.

A 9-0 spurt got the Raptors within 96-91 with 7:17 left, but they got no closer, Boston restoring its double-digit lead, 105-95, on a Walker 3-pointer with 4:42 to go. The hosts led by as much as 19 down the stretch.

The Celtics scored the game’s first seven points and led 12-2 less than four minutes in. They finished the first quarter up 34-29.

Baskets from Powell and Aron Baynes to start the second had Toronto down one, but Boston regained control and led 64-55 on back-to-back treys from Ojeleye and Pritchard with 42.8 seconds left.

The Celtics played without Robert Williams III (general hip soreness). The Raptors were without OG Anunoby (calf) for the ninth straight game.

-Field Level Media