Toronto (30-19) at Boston (30-18)
When: Wednesday, February 1st 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: CSN New England, Sportsnet One
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The Boston Celtics meet the Toronto Raptors in Boston on Wednesday night and both are viewed as the teams most likely to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. Currently, they are the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the conference behind Cleveland.
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The Raptors have had a rough end to the month of January, losing six of their last eight games after gaining on overtime win against the Pelicans last night. While DeMar DeRozan’s recent injury was a factor, they’ve also had problems shooting the ball. Toronto is shooting 45.2% (down from 46.4% for the season) from the field and just 34.8% (down from 37.5%) from the three-point line.
Most of Boston’s success comes from diminutive point guard Isaiah Thomas, who’s joining DeRozan in the All-Star Game. Thomas is averaging a league-leading 10 points in the fourth quarter. He’s shooting 47.5% from the field in the final quarter, including 42.3% from 3-point land.
Toronto is 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five against the Celtics, winning and covering in both meetings so far this season. The Raptors won 101-94 in Boston on December 9th, and then 114-106 in Toronto on January 10th.
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With DeRozan still out for Toronto, I don’t see the Raptors keeping this close in the fourth quarter. Boston will pull away late for the cover.
Pick: Celtics -6.5