Celtics win over Raptors proves never to count out Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker

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By WEEI 93.7

Things were not going good for the Celtics, specifically Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker, Tuesday against Toronto.

The Celtics trailed the Raptors by 12 late in the third quarter in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and Smart and Walker were struggling big time. Through the first three quarters, the pair combined for nine points on 3-for-21 shooting, but that all changed over the final 12 minutes.

Walker and Smart stepped up big time down the stretch to lead the Celtics to a 102-99 win and take a 2-0 series lead.

The pair combined for 27 points on 9-for-10 shooting, including 6-for-7 from three-point range in the fourth quarter. Smart caught fire from long range, as he hit five three-pointers in a row to help the Celtics pull ahead over the NBA champs. They outscored Toronto 27-21 by themselves.

Where were you the day Marcus Smart became a deadeye assassin pic.twitter.com/keTqhIqWTL

— Čöłęÿ Mīçk (@ColeyMick) September 1, 2020

Overall, Smart finished with 19 points, while Walker had 17.

Walker clinched the game with a step-back jumper in the final minute.

KEMBA’S STEP BACK JUST TOO MEAN -- pic.twitter.com/UGbJvGaz8Y

— Overtime (@overtime) September 2, 2020

While Walker and Smart took over in the fourth, Jayson Tatum was the best player over the course of the game, as he finished with 34 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a dominating performance that would have received all the attention if not for Smart and Walker's turnarounds late.

These performances were huge for the Celtics as they continue to play well without Gordon Hayward. It could have been easy for Walker and Smart to check out after the first three quarters, but their attitudes embody the entire team, which could be a bad thing for the rest of the league.

The Celtics have now won six straight to start the postseason, tying a franchise record.

Game 3 is Thursday at 6:30 p.m.