The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors play Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. EST.
According to the sports book Betonline.ag, the Celtics enter as 1.5 points favorites for the first time in this series despite their devastating loss at the end of Game 3. The Raptors won at the buzzer with a Kyle Lowry in-bounds pass perfectly hitting OG Anunoby in the corner for three with 0.5 seconds remaining.
The Raptors got back in transition, scoring 14 early points on the run to Boston’s two. Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet combined for 56 points, while Marc Gasol finished four rolls to the basket to score 10 in a bounce back performance. Toronto appears back, but bettors know Boston nearly took a 3-0 lead in the series.
- Celtics vs. Raptors spread: Celtics -1.5
- Celtics vs. Raptors over-under: 214 points
- Celtics vs. Raptors money line: Celtics -126, Raptors +106
The Raptors defense threw a wrinkle into the series that Boston nearly wrapped up on Thursday. Now at 2-1, the Raptors both stand within a game of extending the series to at least two extra games and realized their zone defense can make Boston overthink. The Celtics shot 1-for-9 out of halftime after taking a 57-47 lead in the second quarter. It led to a slow second half for Jayson Tatum and prompted Brad Stevens to put Enes Kanter in for the first time in three games, to negative effect.
Lowry focused on getting to the basket while the Raptors’ new-found penetration opened VanVleet. Pascal Siakam struggled again against Jaylen Brown, shooting 6-for-15, giving Toronto even more opportunity to grow in this series. The Celtics benefited from an extraordinary Kemba Walker performance. He shot 9-for-15 with 29 points and the Raptors haven’t been able to slow him in any game.
This becomes the pivotal game of the series. The Raptors executed better in the clutch and could be ahead in the series if they didn’t foul, turn the ball over and suffer from a Marcus Smart inferno in Game 2. They improved their performance across every quarter and the Celtics stand to prove they can close a tight game late in this series, with poor possessions from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum costing Game 3. Advantage Toronto, for now.
Toronto 103, Boston 99.