EditorsNote: Tweaks in 9th, 13th grafs
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points — 22 in the second half — and added 10 rebounds to help the Toronto Raptors defeat the visiting Boston Celtics 113-101 Friday night.
Serge Ibaka added 21 points for the Raptors while Kyle Lowry had 15 points, Danny Green 14 and Fred VanVleet 11.
Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 21 points, and Jayson Tatum added 16 points with nine rebounds. Al Horford had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Boston while Gordon Hayward also scored 14 points and Jaylen Brown had 13.
Toronto took a three-point lead into the fourth quarter and had it up to six with about six minutes to play.
Lowry’s 3-pointer with about two minutes to play put the Raptors ahead by eight points, and his jumper increased the lead to 10 points in the final minute, settling the contest between two Eastern Conference contenders.
Tatum completed the first-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer to give the Celtics a 25-18 lead.
The Raptors took a 39-38 lead on Ibaka’s running jumper with 5:27 to play in the first half, but 19 seconds later, Tatum restored Boston’s one-point lead with a step-back jumper.
The teams went more than two minutes without scoring before Ibaka put Toronto into a 41-40 lead with a turnaround hook.
The Celtics went on a 13-5 surge before VanVleet nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, cutting Boston’s lead to 53-49.
Ibaka led first-half scorers with 13 points, and Leonard added nine for Toronto.
Tatum and Irving led the Celtics at the half with nine points each.
Leonard scored 15 points in the second half in just more than six minutes to help give Toronto a 71-69 lead.
A layup by CJ Miles gave Toronto a five-point lead with 1:46 left in the third quarter.
The Raptors led 82-79 after the third quarter.
Brown’s 3-pointer gave the Celtics a brief one-point lead with 9:03 left in the fourth, but Toronto regained a three-point lead on VanVleet’s layup and Norman Powell’s fadeaway jumper.
Leonard’s 3-pointer bumped the lead to six with 6:16 to go.
—Field Level Media