Grant Williams has career-high 25, Celtics’ streak reaches 9


By IAN HARRISON Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — Grant Williams scored a career-high 25 points, Jaylen Brown had 27 and the Boston Celtics overcame the absence of leading scorer Jayson Tatum to extend their winning streak to nine games by beating the Toronto Raptors 106-104 on Saturday.

Boston’s injury woes worsened when guard Marcus Smart injured his right ankle in the final minute of the first half and had to be helped to the locker room. He did not return.

Center Robert Williams stayed in the game after Brown collided with his left knee in the opening quarter. At halftime, Williams was ruled out for the second half because of a hyperextended knee.

Williams had left knee surgery last March but returned in the playoffs.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 23 points and Payton Pritchard scored all of his 12 in the fourth quarter. The Celtics are unbeaten since a Jan. 3 defeat at Oklahoma City.

Pascal Siakam had 29 points and 10 assists, Gary Trent Jr. scored 22 points and Precious Achiuwa had 17 points and 11 rebounds in his first start of the season, but Toronto lost its third straight.

A potential NBA MVP candidate, Tatum sat because of a sore left wrist. He’s averaging 31.2 points, the third-highest total in the league, and a career-high 8.5 rebounds.

Tatum scored 51 points in Monday’s win over Charlotte, then had 34 points and a career-high 19 rebounds in Thursday’s overtime victory against Golden State, playing 48 of 53 minutes.

The Raptors were without guard Fred VanVleet, who was scratched shortly before tip-off because of soreness in his right ribs.

Toronto’s O.G. Anunoby left in the third quarter because of a sore right ankle. Anunoby was initially expected to return but did not play again. Anunoby scored 12 points before departing.

Trailing 85-81 through three quarters, the Celtics reclaimed the lead with a 9-0 run to begin the final quarter as Brown, Williams and Pritchard all made 3-pointers.

Trent missed a layup with 21 seconds left that would have tied it at 106. Toronto had one final chance after Boston was called for an offensive foul, but Siakam turned the ball over at midcourt.

Brown scored 13 points in the first and, after falling behind by 11, Boston closed the quarter with a 12-2 spurt to trail 27-26 after one.

Williams shot 6 for 8 and scored 16 points in the second but the rest of the Celtics shot 4 for 14. Toronto led 57-50 at halftime.


Celtics: Derrick White started in Tatum’s place. … Brogdon and Luke Kornet started the second half. … Boston has won 13 of 15.

Raptors: Attempted a season-low seven free throws. … Siakam missed four of his first five field goal attempts, then made 12 of the next 15. He finished with nine rebounds. … Barnes scored 10 points but didn’t score in the second half.


Celtics: Host Orlando on Monday.

Raptors: Host New York on Sunday.

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