Toronto Raptors Avenge Christmas Day Loss, Blow Out Celtics in Boston
Never underestimate the heart of a champion.
A three-time champion for that matter.
After playing a putrid Christmas Day game on their home court, no single individual needed a bigger bounce-back effort than Patrick McCaw. Receiving starter’s minutes on a depleted Raptors team, McCaw was easily the worst player on the floor on Wednesday afternoon, but on Saturday things were completely different.
“Patrick’s very, very talented and I think sometimes he’s just a little too passive,” said Fred VanVleet during practice on Friday. ‘Hopefully getting the ball in his hands, getting him more rhythm and getting him more reps, letting him feel the game out, he can get a feel for the game.”
McCaw was anything but passive on Saturday as he provided the Raptors with a much-needed spark right from the get-go. He would finish the night with 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting, along with eight assists and seven rebounds, a career performance during the Raptors 113-97 road victory over the Boston Celtics.
“I think it was internal. It didn’t sit well with me on Christmas Day,” McCaw said. “We definitely didn’t give it our best effort and I think tonight guys took it personally. It wasn’t talked about. Guys just went out and gave it their all.”
Helping the Raptors cause were a couple of other starters. Kyle Lowry finished the night with 30 points, while Serge Ibaka pitched in with a 20 point, 10 rebound double-double in a game that was essentially the exact opposite of the one played just a couple days prior. The Raptors controlled the tempo, they looked like the superior team, and despite a very strange whistle to say the least, the Raptors remained composed and focused.
“I think we just wanted to go out there and kind of compete a little better than we did on Christmas,” Lowry said.
The Raptors do not have much time to regroup, as they are back in Toronto for the second night of a back-to-back to take on the new-look Oklahoma City Thunder.