Jayson Tatum scored 21 of his season-best 40 points in the second quarter and the Boston Celtics overcame a 13-point first-quarter deficit to defeat the host Toronto Raptors 126-114 Monday night at Tampa, Fla.
Tatum was 11-for-19 from the field and 13-for-13 in free throws. His career best is 41 points.
Payton Pritchard contributed 23 points and eight assists for the Celtics, who have won two in a row and five of eight. Jaylen Brown added 19 points, Grant Williams had 14 points, Semi Ojeleye had 12 points and Robert Williams III had 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Fred VanVleet scored a season-best 35 points for the Raptors, who have lost five of their first six games this season. VanVleet has scored at least 25 points in each of his past three games.
Pascal Siakam added 22 points for Toronto, Kyle Lowry had 18, Terence Davis 13 and OG Anunoby 10.
The Celtics were without Marcus Smart (sprained right thumb) and Jeff Teague (sprained left ankle), who were injured Sunday in the win over the Detroit Pistons.
It was the first meeting of the teams since Boston won Game 7 on Sept. 11 to eliminate Toronto in the second round of the playoffs.
Boston led by as many as 23 points in the third quarter and took a 19-point lead into the fourth quarter. They led by 26 early in the fourth. Toronto cut the lead to 10 with 2:23 to play.
The Raptors started fast and opened up by 13 points before finishing the first quarter with a 32-23 lead.
The Celtics had a 10-0 run to tie the score on Pritchard’s 12-foot hook shot with 8:08 remaining in the second quarter.
Boston continued to surge and led 61-46 when Tatum converted two free throws to complete the first-half scoring. Tatum had 26 points in the first half.
Tatum’s 3-pointer with 6:17 to play in the third quarter gave Boston a 20-point lead. The lead was 23 after Pritchard’s layup with 2:49 left in the third.
The Celtics led 100-81 after three quarters.
–Field Level Media