The Boston Celtics sent a message to kick off the Eastern Conference semifinals, earning a 112-94 Game 1 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Jayson Tatum scored 21, but it was an impressive teamwide effort from a squad that seemingly couldn't miss on the way to a 17-point halftime lead. The Celtics kept the pressure on and shot 17-of-39 from three-point range as a team to pull away for a convincing win where they never trailed.
The Raptors had significant issues offensively, shooting 36.9 percent from the field while stars Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet both struggled with their shooting. It prevented any comeback opportunity for the defending NBA champions.
Though both teams earned sweeps in the first round, Boston was more prepared for the start of Round.
ayson Tatum, PF, BOS: 21 points, 9 rebounds
Kemba Walker, PG, BOS: 18 points, 10 assists
Marcus Smart, SG, BOS: 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Kyle Lowry, PG, TOR: 17 points, 8 assists
Pascal Siakam, SF, TOR: 13 points, 3 rebounds
Serge Ibaka, PF, TOR: 15 points, 9 rebounds
Role Players Step Up for Celtics
Jayson Tatum got his points, but he wasn't the prime reason for the Celtics' success in this one. In fact, Boston was at its best without him Sunday, especially early: