The Toronto Raptors have flipped this series on its head, tying things up at two games apiece. From here on out, it's best two-out-of-three with a trip to the Conference Finals on the line.
MORE: Takeaways from Raptors gritty Game 4 win
The Boston Celtics had all the momentum through the first two games, 47 minutes and 59-and-a-half seconds of this series until OG Anunoby's game-winning shot in Game 3 altered the energy. The Raptors carried that energy over to Game 4, clicking on all cylinders from the get-go, looking like a completely different team that we saw through the first two games.
Ignited by captain and floor general Kyle Lowry, who had another eventful contest by tallying 22 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks along with three charges drawn and a few other typical winning plays, Toronto clearly wanted this game more.
Their effort was precedent - they came up with the 50-50 balls, they looked more focused throughout the entire game on both ends of the floor and they earned the victory to show for it.
KYLE LOWRY WANTS IT pic.twitter.com/dBe6dHBPot- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) September 6, 2020
Even Boston's star forward Jayson Tatum - who was one of the only Celtics that could get anything going tonight - couldn't disagree with the fact that the Raptors had more passion tonight.
"They played harder than we did," the 22-year-old All-Star stated post-game. "That was noticeable at both ends."
His All-Star teammate Kemba Walker agreed, too.
"We've just gotta be better," the veteran guard said. "We've gotta be tougher. We've gotta want it more. I've gotta find a way to bring my teammates to a higher intensity. And I will. ... I can't stress it enough how we just have to be better."
Although Tatum had a solid game scoring a team-high 24 points shooting 10-for-18 from the field, there was room for improvement in shooting 1-for-6 from 3. For Walker, he scored the second-most points on the team with 15 but only took nine shots, also going 1-for-6 from 3.
While the Celtics' All-Star duo called for more energy from themselves and their team, words from the Raptors All-Star duo were from the opposite end of the spectrum. They maintained that while they've exerted plenty of energy in Games 3 and 4, they're willing to do more if that's what it takes to win.
Head coach Nick Nurse quipped that when he asked Lowry - who has now played north of 90 minutes over the last two games - if he needed a sub in the fourth quarter of Game 4, Lowry "chewed him out."
Pascal Siakam, who played a hard-fought 46 minutes in this contest, said post-game that he'd play "1,000 minutes" if that's what it took for his team to win.
To this point in the series, each team has called their own effort into question. The Raptors did it after the first two games; the Celtics are doing it following these last two games.
In a best two-out-of-three series moving forward, you can all but guarantee you will see nothing but the highest energy from these two top-calibre teams.
Boston and Toronto will face off for a pivotal Game 5 on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
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