Celtics notebook: Taking on the MVP — Boston Herald

As much as the NBA’s MVP debate includes a number of intriguing possibilities — Jayson Tatum’s stock has certainly risen since the start of the year — few can dispute that the reigning award winner is on track to repeat. The Celtics went up against Nikola Jokic for the second time this season on Sunday…

Celtics notebook: Taking on the MVP — Boston Herald


GAME #71 – TORONTO RAPTORS (39-31) at PHILADELPHIA 76ers (43-26)



Philadelphia 76ers

Bassey, Charles Out G League – On Assignment
Brown Jr., Charlie Out G League – Two-Way
Embiid, Joel Questionable Injury/Illness – Back; Soreness
Powell, Myles Out G League – Two-Way
Springer, Jaden Out Injury/Illness – Left Groin; Soreness / G League Assignment

Toronto Raptors

Anunoby, OG Out Injury/Illness – Right Hand; Ring Finger – Fracture
Bonga, Isaac Out G League – On Assignment
Champagnie, Justin Out G League – Two-Way
Flynn, Malachi Out Injury/Illness – Left Hamstring; Strain
Johnson, David Out G League – Two-Way
VanVleet, Fred Out Injury/Illness – Right Knee; Injury Management

• The Toronto Raptors (39-31) play the first game of a back-to-back set Sunday night against the Philadelphia 76ers (43-26) at Wells Fargo Center. The Raptors visit Chicago on Monday. Toronto’s win streak ended
at five on Friday after losing 128-123 in overtime to the LA Lakers. Scottie Barnes set career-highs with
31 points and 17 rebounds, Gary Trent Jr. scored 23 points and Fred VanVleet had 20. The Raptors are
now 1.0 game behind Cleveland for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Toronto and Philadelphia have
split the first two meetings this season, with the road team winning both contests.
• Scottie Barnes earned his 11th double-double of the season with career highs of 31 points and 17 rebounds Friday against the Lakers. He added six assists in 42 minutes. Barnes became the first rookie
since Blake Griffin (March 23, 2011) to record 30+ points, 15+ rebounds and 5+ assists in a game. His 31
points also tied Vince Carter’s Raptors rookie record for the most scored in a double-double. Carter had
31 points and 11 rebounds as a rookie Apr. 1, 1999 vs. Indiana.
• Pascal Siakam is averaging 21.9 points, and career bests of 8.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists, in 57 games
this season. Siakam is one of just seven players in the NBA averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0
assists, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Dejounte Murray
and Julius Randle. No Raptor has averaged 20-8-5 over the course of an entire season.
• Precious Achiuwa had 18 points and five rebounds off the bench Friday against the Lakers. Achiuwa has
now scored in double figures in a career-high six straight games (Mar. 9-18). He is averaging 13.0 points
and shooting .484 (30-62) from the field, including .444 (12-27) from three, during this stretch. Achiuwa is
shooting .362 (38-105) from beyond the arc this season after attempting just one three-pointer as a rookie.
• The Raptors outrebounded the Lakers 46-43 on Friday night, including 16-13 on the offensive glass. Toronto (13.4) currently ranks second in the NBA in offensive boards and has +54 (152-98) advantage on the
offensive glass through 10 games in March.
• Scottie Barnes has scored 20+ points 17 times this season – the most by a Raptors rookie since Vince
Carter did it 23 times during the 1998-99 season. Barnes leads all rookies this year having tallied 20+
points and 5+ rebounds in 17 games. Since the All-Star break, Barnes is averaging 19.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and has scored 20-or-more eight times in 13 contests.
• Toronto scored 27 fast break points Friday night, while holding the Lakers to just 11. The Raptors (15.6)
currently rank third in the league in fast break points.
• Gary Trent Jr. finished with 23 points in 41 minutes Friday against the Lakers. Trent Jr. has now scored
20+ points 24 times this season, something he did 23 times in his first three years (2018-21) combined.

• Recorded career highs of 31 points and 17 rebounds Mar. 18 vs. the LA Lakers; added six assists in 42 minutes.
• Leads all rookies in minutes (35.7), ranks third in scoring (15.5) and rebounds (7.6), and fourth in assists (3.4).
• Has scored 20+ points in three of the last four games (Mar. 12-18), averaging 23.0 points during this span.
• Finished with 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists in 46 minutes Mar. 18 vs. the LA Lakers.
• Leads the Raptors with a career-best 23 double-doubles this season.
• Averaging 25.7 points and shooting .505 (95-188) from the field through 10 games in March.
• Contributed two points, three rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes Mar. 18 vs. the LA Lakers.
• Has scored in double figures four times this season (Last: 11 – Mar. 1 vs. Brooklyn).
• Averaging 5.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 19 games as a starter this season.
• Scored 23 points Mar. 18 vs. the LA Lakers; added three rebounds and three assists in 41 minutes.
• Ranks third in the NBA in both steals (1.80) and total deflections (218).
• Averaging 20.8 points and shooting .400 (108-270) from beyond the arc in 32 road games this season.
• Finished with 20 points, three rebounds and seven assists in 47 minutes Mar. 18 vs. the LA Lakers.
• Leads the NBA in minutes (38.2), ranks second in deflections (222) and third in three-pointers (220).
• Needs 18 three-pointers to tie Kyle Lowry’s single-season franchise record of 238 made threes (2017-18).

2021-22 RECORDS
OVERALL 39-31 23-19 16-12
HOME 17-16 11-9 6-7
AWAY 22-15 12-10 10-5
OVERTIME 2-2 2-1 0-1

Opponent: Philadelphia 76ers
Date: Sunday, March 20
Tip-Off: 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Wells Fargo Center
Television: Sportsnet
Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN
2021-22 1-1 0-1 1-0
ALL-TIME 59-42 32-18 27-24
STREAKS Lost 1 Lost 2 Won 1
LAST WIN: Nov. 11, 2021 (115-109)
LAST ROAD WIN: Nov. 11, 2021 (115-109)
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY: +34 (Oct. 21, 2017)
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT: -35 (Jan. 7, 2012)
GAME 31 – DECEMBER 28, 2021

TORONTO — Tobias Harris had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists
for his first career triple-double, Joel Embiid finished with 36 points and 11
rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers hung on to beat the Toronto Raptors 114-109 … Chris Boucher scored a season-high 28 points and
matched his career high with 19 rebounds, but the depleted Raptors lost
their second straight … Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr. and Malachi Flynn
returned for Toronto after being among the 10 players to miss Sunday’s
144-99 loss at Cleveland because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols … Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Isaac Bonga, and
Justin Champagnie remain in the protocols … Siakam scored 28 points
while Trent had 19 … After Toronto took a 78-76 lead on Svi Mykhailiuk’s
3-pointer with 2:02 left in the third, the 76ers responded with a 19-5 run,
including a 10-2 spurt to begin the fourth that was fueled by eight straight
points from Georges Niang … The Raptors battled back, and Trent hit a 3-
pointer with 1:41 remaining to put Toronto up 107-106 … But Harris was
fouled after grabbing the rebound on Trent’s miss with 21 seconds left,
and made two more from the line to put the Sixers up 112-109 … Toronto
missed a chance to take a tying shot when Trent turned the ball over with
six seconds left … … Philadelphia led 55-48 at halftime.
1 2 3 4 TOT
PHILADELPHIA 27 28 30 29 114
TORONTO 24 24 33 28 109


TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (39-18-5 – 83 Points) at
NASHVILLE PREDATORS (36-22-4 – 75 Points)
1 2 3 FINAL
TORONTO 0 1 2 3


  • Mitch Marner scored for Toronto at 8:04 of the second period and at 15:19 of the third period. Marner
    has posted 26 goals this season. Marner also recorded the primary assist on Matthews’ goal. Marner
    recorded his 42nd assist of the season. Marner has posted six points (3G, 3A) through his last three
  • Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs at 3:41 of the third period. Matthews recorded his 46th
    goal of the season. Matthews also posted the secondary assist on Marner’s first goal of the game.
    Matthews recorded his 33rd assist of the season. Matthews has posted 11 points (9G, 2A) through
    his last six games.
  • Michael Bunting recorded the primary assist on Marner’s first goal of the game. Bunting registered
    his 28th assist of the season.
  • William Nylander posted the primary assist on Marner’s second goal of the game. Nylander
    registered his 35th assist of the season. Nylander is currently on a six-game assist and point streak
    where he has recorded eight points (2G, 6A).
  • Morgan Rielly recorded the secondary assist on Marner’s second goal of the game. Rielly posted his
    43rd assist of the season.
  • Erik Källgren stopped 28 of 33 shots in tonight’s loss.
  • The Maple Leafs were 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill tonight.
    OF NOTE…
  • With his 26th goal of the season scored during tonight’s game, Mitch Marner tied an NHL careerhigh in goals.
  • With his 46th goal of the season scored during tonight’s game, Auston Matthews is one goal away
    from tying an NHL career-high in goals. Matthews continues to lead the league in goals and is tied for
    fourth in points with 79 (46G, 33A).
  • Auston Matthews recorded 10 shots during tonight’s game, posting an NHL career second-best.
  • Auston Matthews was on the ice for a team-high 23 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5.
  • Auston Matthews finished the game with a team-high 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 76.67
    percent (23 for, 7 against).
    SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)
    1st 2nd 3rd TOTAL
    TORONTO 9 (9) 13 (8) 19 (11) 41 (28)
    NASHVILLE 16 (10) 8 (8) 10 (5) 34 (23)
    SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)
    1st 2nd 3rd TOTAL
    TORONTO 19 (18) 23 (15) 28 (13) 70 (46)
    NASHVILLE 24 (16) 14 (13) 15 (7) 53 (36)
  • The Maple Leafs are 17-11-3 on the road this season.
  • Toronto’s all-time record is 13-13-1-1 in 28 games against the Nashville Predators and 6-5-0-1 in 12
    games played in Nashville.
  • Toronto is 18-9-3 against the Western Conference this season and 7-4-3 against the Central Division
    this season.
  • Toronto is 12-13-3 when the opponent scores the first goal of the game.
  • The Maple Leafs are 4-9-3 when trailing after one period and 4-14-1 when trailing after two periods.
  • Toronto is 23-12-4 when outshooting their opponent.
  • The Maple Leafs are 10-6-2 in Saturday games.
    Shots 10 (Matthews)
    Shot Attempts 13 (Matthews)
    Face-off Wins 10 (Matthews)
    Face-off Win Percentage 60% (Kerfoot – 3 won, 2 lost)
    Hits 5 (Sandin)
    Blocked Shots 3 (Holl)
    Takeaways 5 (Matthews)
    TOI 26:17 (Rielly)
    Power Play TOI 5:01 (Matthews)
    Shorthanded TOI 4:23 (Brodie)
    Shifts 26 (Rielly)
    5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage 76.67% (Matthews – 23 for, 7 against)
    March 23 Leafs vs. New Jersey Scotiabank Arena 7:00 pm ET
    March 26 Leafs at Montreal Bell Centre 7:00 pm ET
    March 27 Leafs vs. Florida Scotiabank Arena 7:00 pm ET
    March 29 Leafs at Boston TD Garden 7:00 pm ET
    March 31 Leafs vs. Winnipeg Scotiabank Arena 7:00 pm ET
    April 2 Leafs at Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center 7:00 pm ET
    Stats reflect official NHL stats at the time of distribution. Please consult official NHL game sheets (links
    above) to confirm no statistical changes were made.
    For Maple Leafs notes, transcripts, audio clips and media guides, please visit MapleLeafs.com/pressbox.
    On what Nashville did right to claim the win:

    “They played hard, they played structured, they didn’t give us anything off the rush. They gave us a
    forechecking game today on both sides. They forechecked better than us early in the game for sure. I
    thought we got better at that once we realized that’s what the game is really going to require. They made
    it hard that way, hard to get much happening at the net but I thought defensively we did a good job and
    we didn’t give up a great deal, so that allowed us to hang around in the game but you’ve got one of the
    league’s best goalies at the other end and he’s playing with the lead and trying to find a way out of a hole
    isn’t a good way to win.”
    On tonight’s game:
    “Yeah maybe a little bit flat to start. I thought in the second period we kind of got going a little bit.
    Obviously they win the special teams battle there, they get one. We still fall behind and kind of have to dig
    ourselves out of a hole so I thought we did some good things but I think on the forecheck side of it we
    probably didn’t forecheck good enough tonight and they’re a team that plays really well with the neutral
    zone and their structure and stuff they don’t give you much off the rush. I think we can maybe clean up a
    little bit of the forecheck side of things but I think we did some good things and then obviously some stuff
    we’d like to clean up.”
    On Toronto’s slow start:
    “Yeah, I think that’s kind of the style they play. They want to bore you down. I know they’ve got a lot of fire
    power up front especially high up in the lineup but I feel like they really wait for us to make mistakes and
    that’s when they capitalize so I feel like that’s why the first little bit felt a bit boring but that’s when you kind
    of set the standard for the game and you tell them that we’re not going to make those little mistakes for
    you guys to get your chances and we’re going to push. Even if we don’t have many openings that’s the
    time that we really have to stay strict within ourselves and just stick to plan and not open up because
    that’s obviously when they get their chances so I thought we started okay with that where we might not
    have had all the energy and buzz that we would have liked but, understanding their style of play, it was
    almost kind of what we expected so I think it’s just sticking with that and learning from this game.
    Learning that we can’t always come out and be fast paced and taking it always to them, sometimes we’ve
    got to switch up our game plan a little bit and just focus on not making mistakes and wait for them to
    crack instead of the other way around.”
    On tonight’s game:
    “Tough game. I think they played well. So did we, but they scored on their chances so tough loss.”

CHICAGO 4, MARLIES 2 (March 19)

CHICAGO WOLVES (36-10-5-5 – 82 Points) vs.
TORONTO MARLIES (27-21-3-1 – 58 Points)





Chicago: C. Smith (19) PP (S. Noesen, A. Poturalski), R. Suzuki (6) (D. Gust, J. Sellgren), J. Leivo (14) PP (C. Smith, A. Poturalski), S. Noesen (33) EN, SH (A. Poturalski)
Goaltender: A. Lyon (20/22) W          

Toronto: S. Der-Arguchintsev (13) (A. Steeves, A. Suomela), B. Seney (16) PP (A. Steeves, J. Duszak)
Goaltender: M. Hutchinson (27/30) L


  • Semyon Der-Arguchintsev opened the scoring 32 seconds into the first period. He has goals (2) in consecutive games. He has 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 45 games this season.
  • Brett Seney scored on the power play at 7:29 of the first period. He has points (2-2-4) in three straight games. Seney leads all Marlies in points (11-14-25) at home.
  • Alex Steeves recorded the primary assists on Der-Arguchintsev and Seney’s first period goals. This is his 12th multipoint game of the season.
  • Antti Suomela registered the secondary assist on Der-Arguchintsev’s first period goal. He has 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 34 games this season.
  • Joseph Duszak had the secondary assist on Seney’s first period goal. He has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) through his last four games.
  • Michael Hutchinson stopped 27 of 30 shots he faced.


  • Toronto went 4-for-6 on the penalty kill and 1-for-5 on the power play. Toronto is 20-9-1-0 when scoring on the power play and 12-10-2-1 when allowing a goal on the penalty kill.
  • Chicago had a 31-22 edge in shots in all situations. Joey Anderson led the Marlies with four shots on goal. Toronto is 18-16-2-1 when outshot by their opponents.
  • The Marlies are 5-2-0-0 against Central Division opponents and are 2-1-0-0 against the Wolves. Toronto has outscored Chicago 9-6 through three games.

Scoring first                            21-6-1-1
Tied after 1                              7-4-0-0
Tied after 2                              5-3-0-0
At home                                   13-11-2-1
Saturday                                  9-6-2-0
*Amongst active players

Goals               20 
(J. Anderson)
Assists            34 (J. Duszak)
Points              43 (B. Seney)
PPG                 6 (J. Anderson, A. Steeves)
Shots               123 (A. Steeves)
+/-                    +15 (B. Seney)
PIMS                89 (R. Clune)



On what needs to change for tomorrow’s game:
Stay out of the penalty box against a top power play unit. I mean for the most part we played some good hockey. I thought the first period was a good start for us going toe-to-toe with them. Second period, penalties and turnovers through the middle of the rink kind of fueled their momentum and gave them some space to make plays and go back towards our net. We got back to it in the third period, came out hard, got back to our game plan. So, it’s just those little blips, those little five, 10, 15-minute segments that we just got to stay on it and execute what we want to execute.


On today’s game:

We had a good start. They’re a really good team. Not really a good idea to put them on the power play, we gave them a lot of opportunities there. I thought it was a good hard battle. It felt like a playoff game and they came out on top. I think we just kind of stick to our recipe and play the right way I think we’ll have a really good chance to get them back tomorrow.

On Michael Hutchinson’s play:

Hutchy was a stud tonight. He gave us a chance to pull our goalie at the end there. That one save he made was one of the better saves I’ve seen all year. He’s a gamer and he really balled out for us tonight and gave us a chance to win and which is all you can really ask from your goalie.

*All times Eastern Standard Time

March 20 vs. Chicago – 4:00 p.m.
March 22 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – 7:00 p.m.
March 23 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – 7:00 p.m.
March 25 at Rochester – 7:05 p.m.
March 26 vs. Bridgeport – 4:00 p.m.