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Lowry powers Raptors to victory over Celtics

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Kyle Lowry scored 30 points as the Toronto Raptors avenged a Christmas Day loss to Boston with a 113-97 rematch victory over the Celtics on Saturday.

Serge Ibaka finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors snapped a two-game losing streak which included a 118-102 loss to Boston on Wednesday, as the two Eastern Conference contenders were playing for the second time in less than 72 hours.

Patrick McCaw had 18 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, while a resurgent Fred VanVleet also scored 18 points in the win for the defending NBA champs. Lowry also had seven assists in front of the crowd of 19,100 at the Boston Garden arena.

Kemba Walker scored 30 points for the Celtics, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

The Raptors managed to slow down Jaylen Brown, who finished with 17 points. Gordon Hayward (13), Jayson Tatum (12) and Enes Kanter (11) also reached double figures in scoring.

McCaw got a layup in the first quarter to give the Raptors the lead and start a quarter ending 19-8 run.

Terence Davis' putback gave the Raptors an 89-79 lead heading into the fourth, and Ibaka's layup with 10:11 remaining lengthened the lead to double digits for good. Toronto led by as many as 17 over the final 12 minutes.

The Raptors were playing without forwards Norman Powell (shoulder) and Pascal Siakam (groin), as well as centre Marc Gasol (hamstring).

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