Toronto At Boston
When: 7:30 PM
ET, Friday, December 9, 2016
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Celtics will be without All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas for the second straight outing when they host the Toronto Raptors on Friday. Thomas is ailing with a groin strain and underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection that will leave him sidelined again after he played in the previous 103 games.
Though Thomas was sidelined Wednesday, Boston played one of its top all-around games of the season by pummeling the Orlando Magic 117-87 on the road. "You've got to fight adversity," backup guard Terry Rozier told reporters after scoring a career-best 16 points. "You're not always going to have your best player with you and you have to work with what you have to work with. We're feeling special so we just got to carry it over to Friday night." Toronto is streaking with seven victories in the past eight games but played down to the level of the Minnesota Timberwolves for 3 1/2 quarters Thursday before a late eruption fueled a 124-110 victory. "We finally woke up and played in the fourth quarter," miffed Toronto coach Dwane Casey told reporters, "but we can't live like that and expect to do anything special."
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One (Toronto), CSN Northeast (Boston)
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (15-7): Point guard Kyle Lowry posted 25 points and 11 assists against Minnesota and has scored 24 or more points in five of the past six games. Lowry made 5-of-7 3-point attempts in the contest and is a torrid 32-of-49 from behind the arc over the past seven games, including a contest in which he made all six against the Philadelphia 76ers. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan is averaging 29 points over the past two contests and has recorded 19 20-point outings.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (13-9): Marcus Smart, who scored 13 points against Orlando, again will start in place of Thomas after he and Rozier both played well against the Magic. Thomas is averaging a career-best 26 points per game and hopes to return Sunday against Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City, and his teammates are rising to the challenge of playing without him. "That's a big piece missing from our team," rookie forward Jaylen Brown told reporters, "so we had to come out really share the ball and make an emphasis on playing the game the right way."
1. The Raptors won three of last season's four matchups versus the Celtics.
2. Toronto made 12 3-pointers against Minnesota to extend its franchise record to eight straight games of making at least 10.
3. Boston SG Avery Bradley scored 23 points against Orlando and has reached double digits in every game this season.
PREDICTION: Raptors 105, Celtics 101
Stats and Records
Boston Off vs
105.3 Points For
103.1 Points Against