Amir Johnson‘s return to Toronto couldn’t have ended in a more bittersweet fashion. Amir was greeted by cheers from the Toronto crowd. However, the Toronto Raptors couldn’t be any happier to secure another win over an Atlantic division rival, the Boston Celtics.
The Raptors and Celtics played a competitive game right down to the wire, but it was the Dinos that managed to secure a victory and extend their win streak to 6 games, thanks to solid efforts from DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas.
The Raptors shot an incredible 55% from the field, while hitting 38% of their shots downtown. Toronto also managed to pull down 9 offensive boards and dished the ball out 23 times on 46 shots. The Raps had another all-star caliber performance from DeMar DeRozan who finished with 34 points, 2 boards, 6 helpers and 1 steal. Jonas Valanciunas also played exceptional as he chipped in 19 points, on a perfect 9/9 from the field, as well as 12 boards.
As great as the offence was, the defence could have been a lot better. Boston shot 51% from the field, 46% from downtown and was able to assists on 30 of their 43 made shots. Isaiah Thomas continued his spectacular play for the Celtics as he finished with 21 points, 10 dimes and 4 rebounds. In order for the Raptors to do well they must clamp down on opponents.
The Raps did well in regards to rebounding as they crashed the glass 37 times, 4 more than Boston. As mentioned before, JV had a game-high 12 boards and Patrick Patterson contributed 7 boards. Rebounding and defense go hand-in-hand. Although, Toronto out-rebounded Boston, it is still an area of improvement for the team.
Game Ball: DeMar DeRozan
If the man makes these all-star performances a regular occurrence, Masai might just have to give him the max. DeRozan was nothing short of spectacular this game as he went 13 for 25 from the hardwood, knocked down 8 of his 9 attempted free throws, and all while getting his teammates involved for 6 assists. Not a bad stat line for a guy that wants to spend his entire career in the Six.