LAKE BUENA VISTA, United States — The Toronto Raptors were eliminated from the NBA playoffs on Friday night after dropping a 92-87 decision to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at the AdventHealth Arena.
Here's a look at five key moments in the game:
The start of Game 7 looked a lot like Game 5 as the Boston Celtics stormed out to an early lead.
Fred VanVleet ended a 13-0 Boston run when he hit a three-pointer with five minutes left in the first quarter. The Raptors went on to quickly make up the deficit.
The Celtics led 25-11 after one quarter in Game 5 and the Raptors never recovered in a 111-89 loss that gave Boston a 3-2 series lead.
After a sluggish start, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse turned to his bench midway through the first quarter for a dose of energy.
Norm Powell delivered immediately by rebounding the ball at one end and running the length of the court for a slam dunk.
Matt Thomas and Serge Ibaka also hit three-pointers after coming off the bench as Toronto used a 10-0 run to take a 22-21 lead.
WALKER STARTS RUNNING
Held to just five points over 52 minutes in Game 6, Boston star guard Kemba Walker finally got on the board in Game 7 by hitting a pull-up jumper with 3:49 left in the second quarter.
It helped key an 11-0 run for the Celtics.
Walker hit another jumper moments later as Boston took a 50-46 lead into the half.
VanVleet ended Toronto's three-point drought by connecting from distance late in the third quarter to give the Raptors a 68-67 lead.
The Raptors went nearly two full quarters without hitting a shot from behind the arc.
Powell added a corner three shortly after VanVleet's effort but Boston took a 72-71 advantage into the fourth quarter.
With Kyle Lowry fouled out, VanVleet controlled possession for Toronto in the final minute as he looked for a three-pointer to tie the game.
However, Boston's Grant Williams delivered some tough defence and forced the Raptors guard to miss the shot under pressure with 12 seconds left to play.
Jaylen Brown corralled the rebound and the Celtics would hit two free throws to ice the victory.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 11, 2020.