With a disappointing west coast sweep behind them, the Boston Celtics face no easy task returning home to face the fiery Toronto Raptors Thursday night

The Celtics went 2-3 on their road trip and are 4-8 total in their last 12 games. Boston has dropped each of its last two competitions, including a 122-108 loss to Utah Jazz on Tuesday

The Raptors have now won five of their last six as they prepare to wrap up their six game road trip. Toronto will play the second night of a tackle after beating Washington Wizards 137-115 on Wednesday

Thursday’s matchup is the second of three encounters between the Atlantic Division rivals this season. The Celtics won the first game 126-114 on Jan 4

That win came during a five-game winning streak for Boston that preceded its recent rut due to COVID-19, the team were without striker Jayson Tatum for two weeks and his highest-scoring partner Jaylen Brown missed two games with a knee injury before returning in the loss to NBA leaders Utah, scoring 33 points

“The way (the jazz) played, the freedom, the flow you have with your team is really good right now and we have to find a better flow for ourselves,” Brown said the game “We had a certain disconnectedness at times, and the game almost seems a little harder than it should be

“If we just trust each other we’re in the right places and things like that, the game will be a lot easier than it is for us”

The Celtics were within striking distance, 108-104 with 3:10, before breaking down the distance

“As the leader of this team, I take responsibility for how we react and how we get out,” said Brown, “and this fourth quarter it just wasn’t there for us”

A full effort is required against a Raptors team that have finally made their move after a slow start to the season. A win on Thursday would even mean Toronto’s record after a 2-8 start

Against the Wizards on Wednesday, the Raptors drained 19 3-pointers, Kyle Lowry led by five, Norman Powell scored 28 points and Pascal Siakam added 26 for Toronto, adding up to 24 points in the dominant win

“We’re shooting the three a lot better,” said Lowry. “Pascal helps get a groove back on Norm played incredibly well in every game he started. We’re just in such a good groove “

“The offense is increasing,” said Toronto coach Nick Nurse. “We don’t take too many breaks”

Toronto has played its last eight competitions without OG Anunoby, who was barred from a calf strain Nurse said it was “50-50” whether the striker would be available against Boston

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Raptors Game

World News – CA – Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics Live Score and Stats – Sept. February 2021 Gametracker

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