The Boston Celtics moved to within one win of the Eastern Conference finals as they dispatched the reigning champion Toronto Raptors 111-89.

The Celtics controlled the game from the start, with Kemba Walker delivering on a promise to be more aggressive after the previous game and netting 21 points as his team moved ahead to 3-2 in the series.

But it was Boston’s defence that proved the difference, Toronto able to score just 11 points in the first quarter before trailing by 27 at the half.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens praised his team for being “really active”, adding: “We were really just trying to play hard, as hard as we could.”

The Los Angeles Clippers also restored their series lead, moving to 2-1, with a 113-107 triumph over the Denver Nuggets.

Paul George impressed with 32 points including 12-of-18 from the field but perhaps more importantly he also netted five-of-seven from three-point range, while Kawhi Leonard posted a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

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