Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Raptors rout Celtics, Pistons knocked out of playoff race



Raptors rout Celtics, Pistons knocked out of playoff race

DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. AFP
DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. AFP

Raptors rout Celtics, Pistons knocked out of playoff race

DeMar DeRozan scored a team-high 16 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Boston Celtics 96-78 on Wednesday as the battle for the NBA’s Eastern Conference supremacy heads down to the wire.

Every Raptors player but one recorded at least two points and the Raptors crushed the Celtics to equal their franchise record in wins for the season while extending their lead atop the standings.

The Raptors now have a three-game cushion over the Celtics for first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.

“I am very confident we can get it done. We got a great opportunity but we still got to go ahead, be professional, and finish games out,” said all-star guard Kyle Lowry.

Lowry delivered 13 points, five rebounds and five assists as the Raptors improved to 56-22 on the season. It was Lowry’s highest scoring outing in the past four games and even more importantly it halted the team’s two-game losing skid.

Fred VanVleet came off the bench for 15 points while Delon Wright had eight points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Marcus Morris scored 21 points for the Celtics, who dropped to 53-25.

With a win on Wednesday, Boston would have won the tie-breaker between the two teams and moved to just a game back of Toronto for first in the conference.

Terry Rozier had two points and nine rebounds in his return to the Celtics lineup as Boston was held to a season low in points. Rozier sat out Tuesday’s 106-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks with a left ankle sprain.

The Raptors had five losses in their past 10 heading into the contest, including a 110-90 defeat in Boston on Sunday.

In Detroit, JJ Redick scored 25 points as the Philadelphia 76ers won their 12th straight game with a 115-108 win over Detroit, eliminating the Pistons from the playoff race.

Eastern playoff field set

The Sixers are rolling along without star Joel Embiid who missed a fourth straight game because of a concussion and surgery to repair a facial fracture.

“Everyone in this room has stepped up since Joel went down, and we know we’re capable of winning games without him,” Australian guard Ben Simmons said.

“We told him to get ready for the playoffs and that we’ll take care of everything else. Now we’re showing that we can do that.”

The Pistons had their five-game winning streak snapped, and their defeat clinched a postseason spot for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Eastern Conference playoff field is now set, although the actual matchups are still being determined.

Anthony Tolliver scored 25 points for the Pistons. Detroit was without forward Blake Griffin, who missed his fourth straight game because of a sore ankle.

Elsewhere, Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points and the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 115-86, capping a sweep of back-to-back games between Southeast Division rivals.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Nearly 2,000 detained for Phnom Penh curfew breach

    Nearly 2,000 people were detained in the capital for violating the curfew imposed by the government and Phnom Penh Municipal Administration. Municipal police spokesman San Sokseyha told The Post on May 16 that people were detained in two phases. In phase one, the government locked down Phnom

  • Jab drive announced for two more Phnom Penh districts

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration on May 15 announced a first-dose novel-coronavirus vaccination campaign for Boeung Keng Kang and Sen Sok districts from May 18-31, and a follow-up second-shot drive from June 1-15. Twenty vaccination sites have been set up in a combined 13 communes across both