Kawhi Leonard was once again the leader on the court, as the Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 115-96 on Tuesday to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals. This is the first time in the history of the franchise that the Raptors won a playoff series in five games, while the overall feeling after the match is that they can do a lot more.
Toronto’s next rivals are the Philadelphia 76ers, who won the game against Brooklyn 122-100 to win the series 4-1 as well.
Pascal Siakam had 24 points, Kyle Lowry had 14 points and was one assist short of a double-double, while Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka scored 11 and 10 points respectively. On the other side, D.J. Augustin scored 15 points for the Magic.
It was clear right from the start that the Raptors had no intention of going back to Florida, with Lowry scoring his team’s first nine points of the game. The Raptors were impressive, leading by 24 at one point, though the Magic managed to cut that lead to 16 (35-19) by the end of the quarter.
The Magic did make a run against the Raptors bench to cut the lead to 11 points early in the second quarter, but Toronto managed to increase their advantage to 20 (67-47) and take it into the break.
Another Bad Night for the Magic
It took 12 shots and 16 minutes for the Magic to score their first three-pointer of the game, with only 20 assists, 14 less than their opponents.
Toronto’s lead kept increasing and reached 31 by midway through the third quarter. The home team, cheered by 19,800 fans at the sold-out Scotiabank Arena saw their team enter the final quarter of the game with a 29-point lead (99-70).
The team will have a couple of days to rest before the Eastern Conference semifinals kick off this week. The Raptors will welcome the break, as they could definitely use it, especially since they have a roster rife with injuries. And Leonard too must rest before the semis begin.
Orlando surprisingly won Game 1 in Toronto, 104-101, but the Raptors quickly bounced back to win the thee next game – 111-82 in Game 2, including the two wins at Amway Center, 98-93 on Friday and
107-85 on Sunday.
Toronto will play Games 1 and 2 of the next round in front of their own crowd, before the series move to Philly. The Raptors won three games against the 76ers in the regular season, losing only one. Be sure to check out the odds for the upcoming games at William Hill.