At the end of the night, each quarter of an NBA game time-wise is supposed to be no greater than any other. "They were pushing us up and getting us from running our offense," said Boston's Marcus Morris. Boston led 20-14 after the first, but the Raptors opened the second quarter with a 14-6 run to lead 28-26.
Man, did the Toronto Raptors need that. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Raps, who went from touting their belief that they can win an NBA championship this season to ripping off three high-profile losses to fellow Eastern Conference contenders — two to LeBron James‘ Cleveland Cavaliers, and one to the Boston Celtics — to give fans cause for concern that the bad not-so-old days were here again. Making matters worse, as Toronto wound its way through a five-losses-in-eight-games rough patch, the injury-plagued Celtics somehow managed to go on a run despite playing without a slew of important players, ripping off six straight wins prior to Tuesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Tuesday night losses by both Boston and Toronto took away the potential for tonight to be a winner-takes-over-the-East battle. A Boston win would give the Celtics the head-to-head series three games to one, which would include a rare road win against Toronto team that has won at home like no other team in the East this season (31-7).
It has been 11 days since Kyrie Irving underwent a "minimally invasive procedure" to address the soreness he was experiencing in his left knee. Following the procedure on March 24, the Celtics revealed it involved the removal of a tension wire left from the surgery Irving had performed in 2015 when he suffered a left kneecap fracture in the 2015 NBA Finals. "That's a very good sign that that's what the surgery was about," said Dr. Chris Chihlas, an orthopedic specialist with Southcoast Health.
Philadelphia wants to open the playoffs at home. Toronto wants home-court advantage all the way to the NBA Finals. How they get through some marquee games this week will go a long way in determining if they reach those goals. For the Raptors, it's a game Wednesday against the team right behind them. For the red-hot 76ers, it's the one just in front of them: LeBron James and the reigning East champs from Cleveland on Friday. Toronto hosts Boston, with both teams playing for the second straight night. The Raptors lost Tuesday in Cleveland and Boston later fell in Milwaukee, keeping the Raptors two games ahead with five to play. A win Wednesday and the Raptors will be on the verge of locking up
The Cleveland Cavaliers continued their impressive run of form by topping Eastern Conference leaders the Toronto Raptors 112-106. Cleveland have won nine of their last 10 games following Tuesday's victory in the NBA. Cavs star LeBron James led the way
The Wizards were beaten handily by the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night in what amounted to their 11th loss in 17 games. With their loss and a win by the Miami Heat, the Wizards slid down a spot in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs are gaining steam with Kevin Love now back.
Allen got that chance on Tuesday in Boston's 106-102 loss at Milwaukee, courtesy of injuries and illnesses which continue to ravage the Celtics roster with the latest victim being Terry Rozier (left ankle) who is questionable for Wednesday's game at Toronto. "It felt good to get your first career start in the NBA," Allen, who played a career-high 23 minutes, told reporters after scoring two points on 1-for-4 shooting to go with two rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot. Allen, drafted by the Celtics with the 53rd overall pick in last June's NBA draft in large part because of his potential defensively, has spent most of this season with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA's Gatorade League.
Giannis Antetokounmpo chased down the Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown from behind and swatted what would have been a momentum-swinging layup against the backboard with 53 seconds left in a tight game. The Milwaukee Bucks held on for a 106-102 win on Tuesday night, getting a confidence boost against a short-handed opponent they could face in the first round of the playoffs. ''I think we match up well with them,'' Antetokounmpo said.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Greek Freak was too much for the Boston Celtics, filling up the stat sheet in several categories. Jaylen Brown: Whether it was pulling up for jumpers, going to the rim or being rewarded with free throws, Jaylen Brown delivered a solid performance for the Celtics. Khris Middleton: His shot-making early on set the tone for the Bucks, with the Celtics never really getting him under control.