Friday, October 19 at 8:00 PM ET
Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference clash on Friday when the Boston Celtics visit the Toronto Raptors in a potential playoff preview.
The Celtics shut down the 76ers to start the season off with a 105-87 home win last Tuesday. Boston is back to full strength, which makes them an extremely dangerous team and now they'll have a chance to send another message to a top Eastern Conference team. The Celtics led by just five points at halftime before putting on a tough defensive performance in the second half to keep the 76ers in check, outscoring them 58-45, including 28-21 in the fourth quarter to pull away and earn the win.
Boston hit just 43.3 percent from the field, including 11-for-37 from 3-point range but they held Philadelphia to 39.1 percent shooting from the floor, including only 5-for-26 on 3-pointers. The Celtics won the rebounding battle 55-47 and forced 16 turnovers. Jayson Tatum led the way with 23 points and nine rebounds, Marcus Morris had 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench and Jaylen Brown added 12 points and five rebounds. Kyrie Irving struggled, making just 2 of 14 shots for seven points, seven assists and four rebounds.
The Raptors prevailed 116-104 against the Cavaliers at home in their season opener last Wednesday. Toronto struggled early on but eventually talent won out. They closed the first half closed the first half on a 24-13 run to take a 13-point lead and they didn't let Cleveland closer than seven points after that. Kawhi Leonard had a successful debut with the Raptors, recording 24 points and 12 rebounds, Kyle Lowry led the team with 27 points and eight assists and Fred VanVleet had 14 points and five assists off the bench.
Toronto shot 48.9 percent from the field, draining 14 of 33 3-point attempts while struggling to just 12 of 20 from the free-throw line. They lost the rebounding battle 49-44 but they forced 16 Cleveland turnovers, which led to 25 points and they also outscored them in the paint 56-40. OG Anunoby is questionable tonight after being poked in the eye and Delon Wright missed the season opener with a strained thigh muscle and he's also questionable against the Celtics.
The Boston Celtics are:
19-7 ATS in their last 26 games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
23-9-1 ATS in their last 33 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points
36-15 ATS in their last 51 games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
The Toronto Raptors are:
1-4 ATS in their last five games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
1-4 ATS in their last five games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
1-4 ATS in their last five games overall
The Celtics are at full strength and Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will knock more of their rust off and play much better. The Raptors are a very good team and Kawhi Leonard seemed to fit right in but this game can come down to depth and Boston has a significant edge there, especially with Delon Wright and OG Anunoby both questionable tonight. This will be a close contest so take the Celtics and the points.
NBA Pick: Celtics +2.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports