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Preview: Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics – February 11, 2021

Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/The Associated Press

The Raptors finish their six game road trip tonight with a visit to the Garden to face the Boston Celtics. The game tonight ends a busy stretch for the Raptors, as they have played five games over the past eight days.

Following a victory against the Wizards last night, 137-115, the Raptors have been on a roll. Toronto has won five of their past six games and looks to get back to .500 on Thursday, in their second game this season with the Celtics.

Boston was able to beat Toronto earlier this year, 126-114, on the strength of Jayson Tatum’s season high 40 points. While VanVleet scored 35, the matchup last month featured a much different Raptors team. Recently assigned Raptor 905, Malachi Flynn had 15 minutes in that game, while current Washington Wizard Alex Len played eight minutes for Toronto.

After starting the season hot, the Celtics have lost five of their past seven games, including a 122-108 loss on Tuesday against the Utah Jazz. They currently sit fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 12-11.

The Raptors will have to look out for both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who spearhead the Boston Celtics attack. Both Tatum and Brown are top 10 in scoring in the NBA, averaging just under 27 points per game. The duo accounts for nearly half of the Celtics offense, scoring an average of just under 54 of the teams 110.8 point total.

The Celtics will be without guard Marcus Smart for the sixth straight game as he continues to battle a calf tear that will likely keep him out of a few more contests. Since losing Smart, the Celtics have struggled and will need more from their star point guard, Kemba Walker.

After last night’s victory, the Raptors have scored 120 points or more in five straight games, in large part due to the offense of Siakam, VanVleet and Norman Powell. Tonight, the Raptors will need to rely on their defence and hope for another good shooting night from three-point range.

OG Anunoby remains questionable for Toronto, as they look to finish their six game road trip with five wins. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m, EST on Sportsnet.

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