The Boston Celtics had a much harder job getting a 102-99 win against the Toronto Raptors last night. Still, they were able to produce a comeback late in the game mostly because of Jayson Tatum's extraordinary performance and Marcus Smart. Smart ignited and energized the Celtics after hitting 5 threes in the fourth quarter alone to secure a much-needed advantage in this playoff series.
After the game, one of the main stories was that the Celtics went to the free-throw line more than the Raptors if you simply look at the stat sheet. More precisely, Celtics shot 25 free throws while the Raptors went to the line 19 times. That isn't much of a difference but, Raptors coach Nick Nurse said the timing of those fouls that were being called was complete non-sense, predominantly the ones on Jayson Tatum. Tatum was on the line 14 times, and unfortunately for the Raptors, sank all of his shots from the charity stripe.
The only frustrating part is that he shoots 14 free throws tonight, which is as much as our whole team shoot, and that is the frustrating part. I think our guys were working hard on him, and we were doing a pretty good job, but he did make some good shots, and they were obviously getting him the ball a lot. We could have helped a little better here and there, but they took really good care of him tonight.
Whether Nurse is right or wrong about the fouls that were being called is no longer essential. The refs made some bad calls at the end of the game against both teams, but the Raptors need to bounce back in game 3 to keep this series alive. They played much better last night and showed they could compete against the Celtics, and despite being down 0-2, we should see an exciting series that might go to seven games.