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Raptors vs. Celtics Game Thread: Battle of division rivals

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Kyrie Irving may be out, but the Celtics’ top-ranked defense looks to slow the Raptors’ momentum.

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In the 2017-2018 campaign, the Raptors have blown winnable games against the best of the league. Against the Golden State Warriors, the Raptors were up by five points within the last two minutes. The team accomplished this feat with creative ball movement, often finding Jakob Poeltl rolling to the rim with grace. The game was the Raptors’ to lose; naturally, they regressed to last year’s stagnant offense, allowing DeRozan and Lowry to take contested jumpers while the inevitable Warriors’ three-point barrage beat the Raptors late.

A win against the Boston Celtics would prove to the rest of the league that the Raptors are not a team to be trifled with. However, a win against the Celtics would also mean that the Raptors would have to end an eleven-game win streak, which is no easy task.

The Raptors’ ball movement and three-point shooting must be exceptional today, as the Celtics’ defense feasts on weak offenses. If Lowry can continue to shoot like he did last game (4/10 from three-point land), that would certainly help.

Check out our full preview here, and be sure to follow along with the comment below, as well as the @RaptorsHQ Twitter account.

Where to watch:

Sportsnet

3:30 p.m., EST

Starters:

Toronto - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas

Boston - Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Aron Baynes

Injuries:

Toronto - none

Boston – Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving (facial fracture, doubtful)

UPDATE: Al Horford was previously listed as probable, now listed as a starter.