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Celtics Beat Short-Handed Raptors For 4th Win In 6 Games

TORONTO (AP) — Marcus Smart scored 21 points, Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds and the Boston Celtics beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors 109-97 on Sunday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Josh Richardson scored 18 of Boston's 32 bench points. Jaylen Brown added 16 points, and Grant Williams had 15 to help the Celtics improve to 11-10.

Jayson Tatum shot 2 for 16 and scored eight points, but added seven rebounds and a season-high 10 assists.

Fred VanVleet led Toronto with 27 points, Scottie Barnes had 21, Pascal Siakam 18 and Svi Mykhailiuk 12. The Raptors lost for the sixth time in eight games to fall to 9-12.

Already without forwards OG Anunoby (left hip) and Khem Birch (right knee), who each sat for the sixth straight game, Toronto also without guards Gary Trent Jr. (bruised right calf) and Goran Dragic. The Raptors released a statement Sunday afternoon saying Dragic had been granted leave to deal with a personal matter, with no definite timeline for his return.

Boston was without guard Dennis Schroder. He sat because of a sprained right ankle.

The Celtics led 27-26 after one. Williams scored seven points in the second and Brown and Richardson each had six as Boston took a 54-51 lead at the half.

Smart and Horford each scored eight points in the third as the Celtics took an 80-76 lead to the fourth.


Celtics: Made 19 straight free throws to begin the game before Tatum missed with just over a minute left in the second quarter. Boston finished 29 for 31 at the line.

Raptors: Mykhailiuk started for Trent. … Acquired from Miami in the trade that sent Kyle Lowry to the Heat, Dragic is averaging 8.0 points and 1.8 assists in five games with Toronto. He's played just once since Oct. 25. … After making five 3-pointers in his first 20 games, Barnes had four against Boston, including three in the third quarter.


Toronto began a seven-game homestand and, including Sunday's game, will close out 2021 by playing 12 of 15 at home.


Enes Kanter, who announced earlier Sunday that he will change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom when he becomes a U.S. citizen Monday, played under his birth name for the final time.


Celtics: Host Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

Raptors: Host Memphis on Tuesday night.

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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