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NBA playoffs: Celtics take 2-0 series lead over defending champion Raptors

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Highlights from the Boston Celtics’ win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

Jayson Tatum scored 34 points, Marcus Smart made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 102-99 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Tuesday night, putting the reigning NBA champions in serious trouble.

Smart scored 19 points, Kemba Walker had 17 and Jaylen Brown scored 16 for the Celtics, who now hold a 2-0 series lead. The Celtics are 3-0 against Toronto in the NBA’s restart bubble at Walt Disney World, and 5-1 against the Raptors this season.

OG Anunoby had 20 points for Toronto, which got 19 from Fred VanVleet — who missed a 28-footer as time expired. Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam scored 17 points apiece and Kyle Lowry added 16 for Toronto.

Smart made three 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions in a 73-second span early in the fourth, then added another 3 about a minute later — and a four-point play a minute after that, putting Boston up 86-85 with 7:55 left.

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With the Clippers waiting for their NBA playoff journey to continue, the welcoming of families to the NBA bubble provides a boost to player morale.

It was part of a 29-9 run by Boston, with the Celtics going up 95-87 with 4:18 left.

The Raptors finally seemed they had matters figured out late in the third quarter, taking a 12-point lead — the momentum seeming like it had swung on an overturned call that, correctly, went Toronto’s way. A layup by VanVleet, followed by a free throw from Siakam after officials reversed a call that he said he fouled Smart, gave Toronto a 78-66 lead with 2:46 left in the third.

The Raptors scored only nine points in the next 10:39. But just when things looked like they had gone totally awry, Toronto scored five straight to make it a 95-92 game with 3:35 left, and the Raptors got within one on a pair of free throws by Lowry with 1:01 remaining.

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But Walker hit a stepback on the next Boston possession, and the Celtics held on from there.


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