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Minus their "Iron Man", Celtics "Mettle" on display in 106-104 win over Toronto

 Mettle: (Definition)

"A person's (team's) ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way."

That about sums it up relative to the Celtics 106-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors. With their best player (Jayson Tatum) out of action with a sore wrist - and losing both Marcus Smart and Rob Williams to injuries in the first half - a number of players dug in and produced what was needed.

It starts with Jaylen Brown. His team-high 27 points were just the beginning. Eight rebounds, six assists and three steals were the frosting. Grant Williams put up a career-high 25 points, making 4-of-6 from the hinterlands.

Then came Malcolm Brogdon with 23 points and seven boards. And Payton Pritchard showed once again why trading him may be a bad move. He produced all of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, hitting 4-of-7 from deep.

But perhaps Brown said it best following the game:

''To win in the NBA is hard enough, to win on the road down a bunch of guys is hard to do,'' Brown said. ''You don't want to take it for granted, but we definitely have enough on this team, enough in this locker room, to win games whoever is on the floor.''

"We definitely have enough on this team -- to win", with the key word being "enough" - and that includes the toughness - the "mettle" - that many, including myself, felt may be missing. Kudos to Coach Joe Mazzulla. It all starts with him.


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