The Celtics beat the short-handed Raptors for 4th victory in 6 games

TORONTO (AP) – Marcus Smart scored 21 points, Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds and the Boston Celtics …

TORONTO (AP) – Marcus Smart scored 21 points, Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors 109-97 Sunday night and got a losing streak in two games.

Josh Richardson scored 18 of Boston’s 32 bench points. Jaylen Brown added 16 points and Grant Williams had 15 to help the Celtics improve to 11-10.

Jayson Tatum shot 2 for 16 and scored eight points, but added seven rebounds and a season-high 10 assists.

Fred VanVleet led Toronto with 27 points, Scottie Barnes had 21, Pascal Siakam 18 and Svi Mykhailiuk 12. The Raptors lost for the sixth time in eight games and fell to 9-12.

Already without strikers AND Anunoby (left hip) and Khem Birch (right knee), who each sat for the sixth game in a row, Toronto also without guards Gary Trent Jr. (suggested right calf) and Goran Dragic. The Raptors issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying Dragic had been allowed to handle a personal case, with no specific timeline for his return.

Boston was without guard Dennis Schroder. He was sitting because of a sprained right ankle.

The Celtics led 27-26 after one. Williams scored seven points in the second and Brown and Richardson each had six as Boston led 54-51 at halftime.

Smart and Horford each scored eight points in the third as the Celtics led 80-76 to the fourth.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Made 19 free throws in a row to start the game before Tatum missed by just over a minute left of the second quarter. Boston finished 29th for 31st on the line.

Raptors: Mykhailiuk started for Trent. … Acquired from Miami in the trade that sent Kyle Lowry to the Heat, Dragic has averaged 8.0 points and 1.8 assists in five games with Toronto. He has only played once since October 25th. … After making five 3-pointers in his first 20 games, Barnes had four against Boston, including three in the third quarter.

HOME FOR HOLIDAY

Toronto started a home game in seven games and, including Sunday’s game, closes 2021 by playing 12 of 15 at home.

LAST GAME BY THIS NAME

Enes Kanter, who earlier Sunday announced that he will change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom when he becomes a US citizen on Monday, played under his birth name for the last time.

NEXT

Celtics: Hosts Philadelphia Wednesday night.

Raptors: Host of Memphis Tuesday night.

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