Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said he was mad after he got called for a technical foul late in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks.
The Boston Celtics made it past the Toronto Raptors unscathed during Friday night’s NBA In-Season Tournament contest, despite a strong race to the finish line in the fourth quarter.
Boston and Toronto went toe-to-toe, exchanging basket for basket in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. Playing from behind, the Raptors fought back to drag the Celtics to a nail-bitter, however one decision from Toronto head coach Darko Rajaković, in hindsight, proved to be costly.
“I was down to two timeouts, I was hoping to get him in faster,” Rajaković told reporters following Toronto’s loss, per CLNS Media video. “(Scottie Barnes) was already 12 minutes straight on the court. I literally wanted 30 seconds to give him a break and get him back in the game. Unfortunately, that’s on me, I’m gonna own that one.”
Barnes, who scored 14 points, was subbed out of the game for Precious Achiuwa with 4:32 minutes left, and didn’t return until there were 26 seconds left. By that time, Celtics guard Derrick White had already nailed the eventual game-securing 3-pointer to put Boston ahead for good.
Toronto responded with two free throws, down 108-103, courtesy of Barnes after drawing a personal foul on Al Horford.
All in all, a still-valiant effort from the Raptors who don’t have nearly the level of stardom within Boston’s new-look starting lineup.
“We had moments where we were playing really solid defense and really solid offense,” Rajaković added. “We’re talking about, like, one of the best teams in the league right now and we were able to hold them down to 108 points.”