Rick Zamperin: Toronto Raptors stumble in series opener vs. Boston Celtics

Toronto Raptors' OG Anunoby lies on the court after a collision during the second half of an NBA basketball conference semifinal playoff game against the Boston Celtics Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. AP Photo/Ashley Landis

There is some good news and some bad news for the Toronto Raptors following their 112-94 loss against the Boston Celtics in Sunday’s second round NBA playoff series opener.

In the good news department, Kyle Lowry shook off the ankle injury he suffered in Toronto’s series clinching victory against the Orlando Magic on Aug. 23 and led the team with 17 points.

There was another positive on Sunday, the realization that Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday, which allows the Raptors to get back on the court without having to dwell too long on their substandard performance.

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That’s about it for the good news.

Boston came out firing on all cylinders in Game 1, never allowing Toronto to have the lead in the game, and at one point they led the Raps by as much as 24 points.

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All five of Boston’s starters reached double digits in scoring, led by the 21 points from both Jason Tatum and Marcus Smart, and the Celtics always seemed to have an answer for Toronto’s push back.

Boston made their shots from the opening tip off and never took their foot off the gas in becoming the only team to beat Toronto in the NBA’s Disney World bubble — and they’ve now done it twice.

Do the Celtics have Toronto’s number in the bubble?

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That question can only be answered by the Raptors, and their next opportunity to debunk that theory is Tuesday in Game 2.

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Let’s not forget, the Raps compiled the second best record this season, so no one should be surprised if they jump out of the gate in Game 2 like the Celtics did on Sunday.

There is one more positive that I failed to mention. When the going gets tough championship calibre teams find a way to get it done.

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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