Boston Celtics

Celtics-Raptors takeaways: Tatum's third-quarter heroics fuel C's win

Jayson Tatum scored or assisted on 14 of Boston's 23 third-quarter points in Toronto.

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Three Key Storylines

  • Tatum saves the day in third quarter
  • 'The Stock Exchange' steps up
  • Celtics dominate from deep

For the second year in a row, the Boston Celtics have pulled off a season sweep of the Toronto Raptors.

The C's improved to 4-0 this season against Toronto with a hard-fought win on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Raptors gave them some trouble in the third quarter, erasing an 11-point deficit and taking a seven-point lead with a 20-3 run. Boston responded with a 20-4 run fueled by superstar Jayson Tatum and held on in the fourth quarter to escape Scotiabank Arena with a 105-96 victory.

With Jaylen Brown (right knee hyperextension) out, Celtics guards Jrue Holiday and Derrick White stepped up with 22 points apiece. All five C's starters scored in double figures.

The Raptors were led by their newest additions, former New York Knicks guards R.J. Barrett (game-high 24 points) and Immanuel Quickley (21 points).

The Celtics (31-9) will return home to take on rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs (7-32) on Wednesday night. First, here are three takeaways from Monday's game.

Jayson Tatum takes over in third quarter

The third quarter has been the Celtics' kryptonite this season. They've been outscored in the third quarter in eight of their nine losses.

It looked like that trend might continue when the Raptors jumped ahead with a 20-3 run in the frame. Then, Jayson Tatum happened.

Tatum took over to help the C's respond with a 20-4 run of their own. He scored or assisted on 14 of Boston's 23 total points in the third quarter. He also notched six rebounds in the quarter, one short of his career high.

It wasn't Tatum's most efficient shooting performance. The 25-year-old was 7-of-19 from the floor (1-6 3-PT) and finished with 19 points. Despite that, he still found a way to will his team to victory when the game started to slip away.

Tatum dominated the boards with a game-high 14 rebounds. He also notched six assists, a steal, and a block.

'The Stock Exchange' shines

Someone had to step up for Boston with Brown out. Both Jrue Holiday and Derrick White, a.k.a. "The Stock Exchange," were up for the task.

Holiday was aggressive off the bat on both ends of the floor, tallying 10 points with three assists, two rebounds, two blocks, and a steal in the first quarter. One of those blocks and the steal came within the first 42 seconds of the game.

This marked the second time this season that Holiday scored at least 10 points in the opening quarter. He finished with a season-high of 22 -- tying White for the team-high on Monday.

White's shooting slump appears to be over. He made five of his 11 3-point shots, including this clutch one late in the fourth quarter:

White's slump dated back to his appearance on former NBAer JJ Redick's podcast, "The Old Man & the Three" on Jan. 5. It was dubbed the JJ Redick Curse by many, including NBC Sports Boston's play-by-play commentator Drew Carter, who mentioned it on Monday's broadcast.

Redick took notice:

Fortunately, it looks like we can officially put the curse talk to rest as White is 12-for-27 from the floor and 8-for-16 from beyond the arc in his last two games.

Celtics dominate from deep

The Raptors outscored the Celtics 60-28 in the paint and 30-15 in transition. They scored 15 points off Boston's 12 turnovers. Still, that wasn't enough to keep up with the C's raining 3s.

The Celtics hit 41 percent (16-for-39) of their shots from deep. That was the difference with Toronto shooting a dismal 12.5 percent (4-for-32) from long range.

Holiday and White accounted for nine of the Celtics' 16 3-pointers. Al Horford was 2-for-4 from 3. Interestingly, the Celtics shot a higher percentage from 3-point range than they did from the floor (40.2 percent).

Boston is now 27-2 this season when shooting at least 33.3 percent on 3-pointers. It's just 4-7 when shooting under that mark.

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