The Boston Celtics will face the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Friday night. These two teams have gone back and forth in this series. Now they will play one final game to see who will advance to face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Celtics came out hot in this series, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. It was almost 3-0, but thanks to the last-second shot by OG Anunoby in Game 3, the Raptors climbed back into the series.
Raptors Have Momentum
Game 6 went double overtime, but the Raptors were able to finish strong and win the game. Kyle Lowry led the team with 33 points while also logging 53 minutes in the game.
“I think everyone came into this series expecting a long series,” Fred VanVleet said. “I don’t think we lived up to that in the first couple of games. We were able to work ourselves back into position to give ourselves a chance and Game 7 to go to the Eastern Conference finals. That’s all you can ask for is a chance.”
VanVleet has been a big part of the success of this team, but he struggled from three-point range in Game 6, going only 3-of-13. He plays a key role in helping Lowry and Paskal Siakam put points on the board.
Norman Powell was the savior in Game 6 for the Raptors. He turned it on late, scoring 15 points in the two overtime periods.
Celtics Are Favored
The Celtics are entering the game as a two-point favorite. Overall, they have seemed to be the better team in this series.
They had a chance to end it in Game 6 but were unable to pull it out in overtime. Jaylen Brown had 31 points in the loss.
“We had a lot of opportunities down the stretch, and we didn’t take care of them all as good as we needed to,” Brown said. “That’s fine. We’re heading into a Game 7. We feel good about ourselves.”
There was a bit of drama at the end of Game 6, with Marcus Smart’s emotions running high. He was upset with a no-call on the final play, which ended in some jawing between the two teams as they left the court.
Game 7 is set to be an entertaining matchup. Both teams have a real chance to move on and even win the NBA Finals. Coach Brad Stevens will try to get his team to regroup and play like it did in the first two games of this series.
The way that Toronto played in the first round, many thought it might be the team to beat in the East. However, Boston has shown that it is more than capable of taking the defending champion Raptors down.
Somehow, the Raptors have avoided several losses at the end of the close games in this series. But the better team for the past six games has been the Celtics, and they will prevail in Game 7.
I’m taking the Boston Celtics to cover the two-point spread.