Halftime stars, studs and duds: Smart brings pesky defense, much-needed offense

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Smart brings pesky defense, much-needed offense

The Boston Celtics, courtesy of some red-hot shooting in the second quarter, were able to rally from an early deficit and lead Toronto 55-46 at the half.

Two of the league’s better teams offensively got off to a surprisingly slow start scoring the ball in the first quarter which ended with the Raptors ahead 23-18.

Both teams picked up their play offensively in the second quarter which was good for the Celtics who went on a 7-0 run that put them ahead 49-43 – their biggest lead of the game – with 2:31to play in the half.

After a Toronto time-out, the Celtics continued to surge ahead after a lay-up by Marcus Smart following a breakaway dunk by Jae Crowder which gave Boston its first double-digit lead, 53-43.

The Celtics shot 52.2 percent in the first half, fueled heavily by a second quarter in which they connected on 66.7 percent (16-for-24) of their shots.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game.

 

STARS

Marcus Smart

He was playing his usual pesky defense for the Celtics, in addition to bringing some much-needed offensive punch. He led the Celtics with 14 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan

These two deserve their own line because 1) their impact is pretty much the same for the Raptors and 2) they each had the same point total in the first half. They each scored 10 points, but DeRozan had four rebounds while Lowry chipped in with an additional five assists.

 

STUDS

Gerald Green

Once again Green was delivering instant offense to the Celtics, scoring nine points off the bench in under 12 minutes of court time.

Isaiah Thomas

Toronto was intent on getting the ball out of Thomas’ hands as much as possible. He still made an impact in the first half, scoring nine points while dishing out three assists.

Jonas Valanciunas

Foul trouble (he had three in the first half) limited him from being even more impactful. Still, he managed to score six points to go with 10 rebounds.

 

DUDS

Patrick Patterson

He’s usually a Celtics killer, but has been a non-factor in the first half. He was scoreless, missing both of his field goal attempts  which were each 3-pointers.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is trading for Paul George worth the risk?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is trading for Paul George worth the risk?

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0:41 - Michael Holley, Kayce Smith and Tom Giles recap their thoughts on drafting Jayson Tatum and trade rumors involving the Celtics.

6:21 - Ian Thomsen joins BST to discuss if it would be worth trading for Paul George as a one-year rental and if there would be a chance he could still around long-term if traded to Boston.

11:13 - Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Rick Porcello’s outing, the Red Sox offense coming to life, and Doug Fister being claimed by the Red Sox. 

15:10 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely look back at the Celtics/Nets trade, what the assets have turned into, and if Danny Ainge has done a good job turning those assets into players. 

Jae Crowder was liking a lot of negative tweets while Paul George rumors swirled

Jae Crowder was liking a lot of negative tweets while Paul George rumors swirled

While rumors were swirling about a possible Paul George deal on draft night, a bunch of people were tweeting at Jae Crowder, ready to send him to Indiana in a deal.

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Crowder, who isn't shy on social media, liked the series of tweets, perhaps saving them as motivation for later.

Crowder had a couple noteworthy moments on Twitter this past season. The first was when he fired back at Celtics fans after the TD Garden cheered for Jazz forward Gordon Hayward. He also exchanged comments with Devin Booker after the Suns guard's 70-point game against the Celtics