It took a miracle shot for Toronto to edge the Celtics in Game 3, but Raptors players believe their performance throughout the entire second half might have changed direction of the series, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Toronto rediscovered the formula that led to a championship last season, getting contributions up and down the roster to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit.
“I think it’s really good for guys to be able to come in and make plays down the stretch when we need ’em,” Norman Powell said. “I think guys on this team have all been in situations like that when their name is called or whatever it is that they’ve gotta go out there and perform and produce no matter what role you’re in or how many minutes you get, you’re trying to go out there and make winning plays for the team. I thought everybody down the stretch, especially in the second half, was able to do that in certain ways. It wasn’t always scoring, it was little things that didn’t show up on the box score: Setting screens for guys to get open and get to the rim, moving the ball, things like that.”
There’s more Raptors news to pass along:
- Kyle Lowry shared in the game-winning moment, throwing the inbounds pass that set up OG Anunoby‘s game-winner, but Toronto needed his brilliant performance throughout the game to have a chance, observes John Schuhmann of NBA.com. Lowry, who had been mired in a shooting slump for the first two games of the series, explained the inspiration for his breakout performance of 31 points, six rebounds and eight assists. “I got a text from a real close friend of mine,” he said, “and he kinda told me, ‘Stop waiting.’ And that was pretty much the game plan for me tonight, to stop waiting and be aggressive from the jump. He was correct.”
- Nick Nurse is endorsing comments from Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who criticized the NBA for not allowing family members to enter the Disney World campus until the first round of the playoffs ended, tweets Josh Lewenburg of TSN Sports. Nurse said he probably wouldn’t have brought his family because he doesn’t believe the atmosphere is good for children, but he agreed that many coaches and staff members have been affected by being isolated for so long.
- In case you missed it, the Raptors are considered one of the leading contenders to sign Giannis Antetokounmpo if he becomes a free agent next summer.