Another Philly title, another happy Raptor: Lowry beams after Villanova win

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What if Lowry and DeRozan lose the trust that has been built up with their teammates if they defer but most of the resulting shots are clanked?

At first, it looked promising. The Raptors lost Tuesday in Cleveland and Boston later fell in Milwaukee, keeping the Raptors two games ahead with five to play. After an opening quarter that saw the lead change hands several times, the Celtics held a 20-14 lead.

The Raptors opened as one-point favorites; the total is at 223.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. With a 20-3 run, Toronto took a 43-33 lead into the break.

Jonas Valanciunas has averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over the last five games for Toronto. Toronto stayed within striking distance at all times, often cutting the lead to just a couple of scores but never truly threatened the Cavaliers. It is unfortunate that the Celtics have to do it on a back to back, and they desperately need Terry Rozier to bring his energy back to the lineup.

However, with a run of good form, James is hoping everything comes together as they look to win a second National Basketball Association title in three seasons. "When you have games like we had last night, you have to understand let's tighten up, understand our mistakes and come out the next night and handle business". Marcus Morris is the third double-digit scorer and Al Horford is grabbing 7.4 rebounds.

Hill could miss the game against the Raptors, as could Kyle Korver (sore right foot), who didn't play in the last game against Toronto, either. VanVleet had 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting while also dishing out four assists without a single turnover. His defense also played a key role in disrupting Boston's offense.

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"It's not redemption, it's my job to come out here, be professional and be a leader", said Lowry. "Our pace, our attention to detail on screens, getting it to our centers with a lot of time on the shot clock, allows us to make multiple passes throughout a possession that allows us to get the shot that we want". Here's what we learned from a win against the to team in the East.

"To be a good team, that's how you have to respond", said DeRozan. "Our approach with whoever we play, as I've said before, is we're trying to develop a rhythm". At 55-21 they own the best record in the East standings, but the Boston Celtics (53-23) are just two games behind them.

It could have been moot had they taken care of business in Boston on Saturday, essentially locking down first place in the process.

Tobias Harris scored 31 points, Lou Williams added 22 and the Clippers rallied from 19 points down to beat the Spurs, 113-110.

With the win, Boston falls three games behind the Raptors for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with four games left to play.

Instead, the Celtics routinely gave the ball away in live-ball situations. The Celtics trimmed three games off their deficit during a six-game winning streak that was snapped Tuesday, and would clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win Wednesday. Boston will have Chicago (next), Atlanta, Washington, and Brooklyn.

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