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After Canadian Assurances, Celtics' Enes Kanter Will Play Christmas Day in Toronto

Jaylen Brown scored 30 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 118-102 victory over Toronto on Wednesday, spoiling the Raptors' first Christmas Day game at home.

With Brown's 30-point outing, he became the youngest Celtics player to score at least 30 points on Christmas, per ESPN Stats & Info. "I'd never won here, period, so it was great to get one".

They had 34-consecutive wins in Toronto against the Atlantic Division, including eight-straight wins over the Celtics in Canada.

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"It's been a long time, and something I'd been playing through", Hayward said Tuesday. "It's good, it's good".

Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry guard the net against Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker, in Toronto, on December 25, 2019. He's scored 24 or more in his last three games. The Raptors are 2-2 since they lost center Marc Gasol (left hamstring), guard Norman Powell (left shoulder) and striker Pascal Siakam (groin) due to injuries. Nurse had no update on the status of the trio, but acknowledged their absence is making life hard.

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"We're excited to be a part of it", coach Nick Nurse said before the game. The Raptors' last home loss to an Atlantic team was a 111-109 defeat to the New York Knicks on November 10, 2015.

Jimmy Butler scored 20 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 12 rebounds as Miami improved its NBA's best home record to 13-1.

In an article he wrote for Time in 2018, Kanter said he is "now stateless and pretty much can't leave the United States". Kanter didn't come north of the border last February when Portland came to town and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to step in and assure Kanter he'd be OK making the trip to Toronto and Kanter said Wednesday he didn't know he'd be cleared officially until the 23rd. "I was just trying to play within the game". Going out there was more than just a basketball game. "For me, it was just going out there and living this freedom". The 27-year-old Kanter has missed multiple games outside of the USA in the past couple of years, the result of fears for his safety because of hostility from Turkey's Erdogan government. Turkish prosecutors accused Kanter of belonging to a terrorist organization and issued an global order for his arrest Kanter did not travel with the Knicks to London last January because he feared he would be killed for his opposition to Erdogan.

While with the New York Knicks to start last season, Kanter refused to travel to London with his team for a match against the Washington Wizards, citing the same safety concerns.

The Celtics immediately responded with a 9-0 run of their own to draw themselves near-even and eventually took the lead in the first quarter, never to give it up again.

"They hit us early but I thought we recovered well", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

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Brown made two free throws to increase the margin to 17 points.

Whatever Boston talked about and switched up during that timeout worked, as the team would outscore Toronto 28-9 the remainder of the frame to enter the second quarter with a 28-19 lead.

At that point, the Celtics would likely have their full core - Robert Williams and Vincent Poirier remain out - for just the sixth time all season. Boston had missed 59 games due to injuries.

Raptors: Toronto made a season-worst seven 3-pointers in a December 9 win at Chicago.

Though the Celtics were able to win all three games that Hayward missed, the team will still get a boost from his return.

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