Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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NBA Preview: Toronto Raptors (4-4) at Boston Celtics (6-2)

The Toronto Raptors will chase a third consecutive road victory when they face the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. 

It will be the final stop on a four-game road trip for Toronto, which opened the trek with a 114-99 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers before beating the San Antonio Spurs 123-116 in overtime and topping the Dallas Mavericks 127-116. 

The Raptors erased a 22-point deficit in their victory at San Antonio on Sunday, then Pascal Siakam hit season highs in points (31) and rebounds (12) during the Wednesday win at Dallas. Siakam made 15 of his 25 shots from the field against the Mavericks. 

Siakam averaged a career-high 24.2 points per game last season. He enters the Saturday contest putting up 17.4 points in 35.8 minutes per game this season. 

The Celtics snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the Brooklyn Nets 121-107 on Friday in Boston’s first in-season tournament game. Jaylen Brown tossed in a game-high 28 points for the Celtics. 

Boston’s bench players contributed 37 points, including 15 from Sam Hauser and 13 from Payton Pritchard.  Dennis Schroder tossed in 18 points for the Raptors during their victory over Dallas, and Scottie Barnes finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocks.  Barnes leads Toronto in scoring (21.5 ppg), rebounds (10.4), steals (1.5) and blocked shots (2.1). 

One area where the Raptors need improvement is at the foul line. Through eight games, Toronto ranks last in the NBA in free-throw percentage at 69.6 percent. 

Boston center Al Horford did not play on Friday due to right knee injury management. Horford is averaging 5.0 points and 6.1 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game this season.

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