The champions get to defend and equalize the series

The Raptors recover from 0-2 and are already 2-2. The Canadian team stood out in defense in the fourth game to account for the Celtics.


Can Anunoby's shot against the Celtics this year be something like Leonard's against the Sixers last year? Can be. We don't know if he will guide the Raptors on the road to the Ring, but he has given them new momentum in these playoffs. And they needed it like eating and they are already filling up.

The greens were beating them on both sides, controlling the pace of the games and taking the exact advantage in the decisive moments without the reigning champion being able to give a dignified answer. It also happened to them in the third of this series, but there the magic of the English forward did the rest. In the fourth meeting of these conference semifinals, Nick Nurse's team took the initiative and scored a victory that equalizes but leaves them with the upper hand.

The three main references for the Raptors, Lowry, VanVleet and Siakam, went over 45 minutes of play. Nurse used a very short rotation of seven players (eight, but with Matt Thomas playing only three minutes) and the players responded: maximum effort, maximum performance. It was noticed for a longer period of time and with much less cracks, as if they had finally caught the rhythm of the tie. They took better advantage of second chances from offensive rebounds, moved the ball well from the start and did not let Brad Stevens' criteria prevail.

Theis and Williams tried to do damage in the area and their teammates looked for them against Gasol and Ibaka, but they got sporadic baskets rather than a constant dribble. The party was, for them, inside; on the outside it was not his night. The Celtics finished 7/35 on 3s, a 20% accuracy, when their rival shot 17 from long range. Fateful night at the launch and of men who had been like Smart or Brown, who had been references in the previous ones.

A pair of good relays from Wanamaker and Ojeleye in the second quarter helped the Raptors not escape in the first half. In the third quarter they already succeeded, reaching +11 and not giving up an advantage always above five points. The Boston team couldn't even give an arreón when that was what had made them put the Toronto team in check the first two days. Tatum (24 + 10) wanted to, but he was very lonely. Whether it was with Siakam as the starter of the plays or with Lowry, who was spectacular (22 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists), the Celtics were late in defense and suffered otherwise in offensive actions. Also noteworthy are the 18 points in 22 minutes by Serge Ibaka, who defined the defense in the area and was in the minutes in which his team left on the scoreboard. At 93-100 and a feeling that tastes much better, he ended this game with a victory for the Raptors.

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