Semi Ojeleye helps Celtics roll past Raptors, 120-106

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The Celtics didn’t play the way they wanted to on either end of the floor during their recent West Coast trip.

Back at home, they got sparks from two unlikely sources to tame one of the league’s hottest teams.

Semi Ojeleye had a career-high 24 points and six 3-pointers, and Celtics rolled to a 120-106 win over the visiting Raptors on Thursday night.

Rookie Payton Pritchard added 20 points and had a career-high six 3s to help Boston snap a two-game skid.

The Celtics never trailed and led by as many as 19, thanks in part to a season-high 20 3-pointers.

Ojeleye said he feels like he’s playing a lot freer offensively this season.

“I really try to focus on the process on the shooting and not the result,” OJeleye said.

Leading scorers Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown deferred to their teammates from the outset as they drew attention from Toronto’s defenders.

“(They’re) able to impact the game whether they’re scoring or not,” Ojeleye said. “They took everybody with them.”

Boston's Semi Ojeleye, shooting between Chris Boucher (left) and Kyle Lowry, hit six 3-pointers en route to 24 points.

Boston’s Semi Ojeleye, shooting between Chris Boucher (left) and Kyle Lowry, hit six 3-pointers en route to 24 points.

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 24 points and six assists. Pascal Siakam finished with 23 points for Toronto, which was coming off a win at Washington a night earlier.

Toronto cut what had been a 15-point deficit to 98-93 with 6:21 remaining. But the Celtics used a 15-5 run to take control down the stretch.

The Raptors played without OG Anunoby (left calf strain) for the ninth straight game but still managed to dominate in the paint, where they outscored the Celtics 58-32.

But Boston’s second unit was strong throughout and, led by Pritchard, outscored its bench counterparts 38-31.

Heat 101, Rockets 94: Jimmy Butler had a triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and Miami overcame a slow start to beat slumping Houston. Miami won its fourth straight and handed Houston its fourth loss in a row. John Wall and Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 17 points each. The Heat almost had a second player with a triple-double — Bam Adebayo finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists before fouling out with about a minute left.

Pacers 111, Pistons 95: Domantas Sabonis had 26 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and Indiana beat Detroit to end a four-game losing streak. Malcolm Brogdon added 18 points, and Jeremy Lamb had 17. Josh Jackson led Detroit with 18 points. Rookie Isaiah Stewart added 17 in his first start at center. Detroit missed its first eight shots from beyond the arc.

Trail Blazers 118, 76ers 114: Damian Lillard scored 30 points and dished out seven assists to lead host Portland. Philadelphia got 35 points from Joel Embiid. Ben Simmons had 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Briefly: Ongoing challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic and how that affects the process of crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada will keep the Raptors in their adopted Tampa, Fla., home for the remainder of the regular season, the team said. … Hawks guard Trae Young was fined $20,000, the NBA announced, for directing “inappropriate language” toward a game official following the loss in Dallas on Wednesday.