ANKARA (AA) – The Boston Celtics defeated the reigning champions Toronto Raptors 92-87 on Friday to move onto the Eastern Conference Finals behind their young starts Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s performances.
The 22-year-old Tatum scored 29 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out seven assists in 44 minutes of action, while the 23-year-old Jaylen Brown chipped in with 21 points and four steals.
With only one minute to go in the game with the Celtics up 89-87, Marcus Smart blocked Norman Powell in transition, paving the way defensively for his squad to win.
The second-seeded Raptors, unable to repeat their title, are eliminated. Five players scored in double digits for the Raptors and Fred VanVleet led his team with 20 points.
The Celtics will take on the fifth-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Nuggets refuse to be eliminated, beat Clippers
The Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 111-105 on Friday in the Western Conference semifinals to bring the series to 3-2, refusing to be eliminated in the do-or-die game.
Nuggets stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 48 points in the win.
With 1:12 to go in the fourth quarter and the Nuggets leading 102-100, Michael Porter Jr. hit a tough three-pointer for the Nuggets, sealing the win.
For the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 62 points in the losing effort.
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