Celtics stop red-hot Raptors; Nets clinch playoff spot
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 07: Kemba Walker #8 of the Boston Celtics , top, and OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors collide while competing for possession during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 7, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Celtics stop red-hot Raptors; Nets clinch playoff spot
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - August 8, 2020 - 1:04pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Boston Celtics handed defending champions Toronto Raptors their first defeat in Orlando after a blowout 122-100 win on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).

With a fast-paced offense and effective 3-point shooting, the third-ranked Celtics asserted their mastery over Fred VanVleet and the Raptors.

Seven Celtics finished in double figures with Jaylen Brown leading the pack with 20 points.

Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker chipped in 18 and 17 points, respectively.

VanVleet top-scored for the Raptors in the losing effort with 15 points.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets clinched a spot in the post season after a 119-106 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Sans stars who were not able to make it into the NBA bubble, Brooklyn was able to hold its ground and extend their stay in the 2019-20 season.

Caris Lavert and Joe Harris combined for 43 points to lead the Nets back into the playoffs for the second year in a row.

In the other games, the Memphis Grizzlies finally gained some space from the red-hot Portland Trailblazers after notching their first win in the bubble over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 121-92.

Dillon Brooks paced the Grizzlies on offense with 22 points while Ja Morant and Jonas Valanciunas contributed 19 points each in the victory.

The Grizzlies are now one game clear of ninth-seeded Portland in the Western Conference standings.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans booked a crucial win sans Zion Williamson to keep themselves alive with a shot for the final spot in the playoffs for the West.

They beat the Washington Wizards, 118-107, to remain within striking distance of the ninth spot in the standings.

But because of the loss, the Washington Wizards are officially out of the race for a postseason spot in the East.

This means the cast for the Eastern Conference post season is complete with the Orlando Magic clinching the final spot.

Other results of the day include the Philadelphia 76ers' 108-101 win over Orlando and the San Antonio Spurs' 119-111 win over the Utah Jazz.

Currently at 10th place in the Western standings, the Spurs are still fighting to preserve their streak of 22 post-season appearances.

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