Sport

Raptors outbattle Celtics in 2OT to force Game 7

Raptors outbattle Celtics in 2OT to force Game 7

MANILA, Philippines — Defending champions Toronto Raptors stay alive in their title defense after outlasting the Boston Celtics, 125-122, in Game Six of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).

Norman Powell hit two clutch free throws in the second overtime to give the Raptors enough breathing room to hold on for the victory.

Both teams battled until the final possession, trading clutch baskets.

After they got stuck playing catch-up against the Celtics, a 3-pointer from the corner from OG Anunoby gave Toronto the lead, 118-117 with 57.5 ticks left in the game.

This seemed to shift the momentum to their side with Powell increasing the lead to four with a three-point play, 121-117.

While a 3-pointer from Jayson Tatum kept the door ajar for the Celtics with only a one-point deficit, 122-123, with six seconds left, Powell's free throws were the nail in the coffin.

A combined six players from both teams played more than 50 minutes in the cardiac game.

Kyle Lowry top-scored for the Raptors with 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Lowry also made both offensive and defensive plays in second overtime, including a turnaround jumper that increased their lead, 123-119.

Powell and Fred VanVleet chipped in 23 and 21 points, respectively.

VanVleet flirted with the triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists to go with his 21 points.

Jayson Tatum paced the Celtics on offense with 29 points, 14 boards and nine assists.

Marcus Smart notched a triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

The winner-take-all Game Seven is scheduled to tip off on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).

The victor will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.