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Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum lift Boston Celtics over Toronto Raptors in NBA game

NEW YORK – The Boston Celtics are “far from being a finished product”, even as Jaylen Brown scored a game-high 29 points and Jayson Tatum finished with 27 in their 117-94 victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

Brown was 12 of 20 from the field and had 21 points in the second half. He also finished the National Basketball Association (NBA) game with five rebounds.

Tatum was 10 for 18 from the field and added five rebounds and four assists.

Boston also received 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists from Kristaps Porzingis. “I feel like we’re really far from being a finished product, a team that (people can say) this is it,” he insisted.

“We’re far from that still. There’s going to be ups and downs. There’s going to be like three games where it’s going to look insane and three games where it’s going to fall apart and fans are going to overreact.”

Pascal Siakam tossed in a team-high 17 points and was one of five Raptors who scored in double figures. He also had seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Toronto’s Dennis Schroder finished with 14 points, Jakob Poeltl and Malachi Flynn each had 12 and Scottie Barnes netted 10. Barnes also had five rebounds, four assists, one steal and a blocked shot.

Schroder had a different view from Porzingis when it came to the Celtics, praising their star duo of Brown and Tatum whom he believes can make a difference in every game.

“Both of them, elite players in this league,” he said. “At the end of the day, we made it easy for them.”

It was the final contest of a four-game road trip for Toronto, who were seeking their third straight victory. The Raptors were coming off road wins against San Antonio (123-116) and Dallas (127-116).

The Celtics (7-2) led 30-26 after one quarter, 55-46 at half-time and pushed the lead to 23 by scoring 21 of the first 28 points in the third quarter. The Raptors (4-5) trailed 71-88 entering the final 12 minutes of action.

Boston had their largest lead after a Brown dunk put the Celtics up 103-73 with 6min 46sec to play.

The Celtics shot 54.7 per cent from the field (47 of 86) and had a 60-42 advantage in points in the paint. The Raptors were 35 of 91 from the field (38.5 per cent), including just 10 of 37 from three-point range.

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In another game on Saturday, Caris LeVert came off the bench with 22 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a season-series sweep over the Golden State Warriors with a 118-110 victory in San Francisco.

Donovan Mitchell (21 points), Darius Garland and Evan Mobley (both 19) led all five starters in double figures for the Cavaliers, who had lost 12 straight regular-season games to the Warriors before a 115-104 home win last Sunday.

The sweep was Cleveland’s first over Golden State since 2010.
REUTERS

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