The Raptors have taken control of their first-round playoff series against the Magic by claiming a 98-93 victory in Orlando on Friday. But it wasn’t easy.
Both teams were careless with the ball, but the Magic evaporated Toronto’s lead down the stretch and were within three in the closing seconds. It was a clutch rebound by Kyle Lowry that saved the day for the Raptors in the end.
BIG TIME PLAYERS, MAKE BIG TIME PLAYS pic.twitter.com/Ai6Feehzod
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 20, 2019
The real star of the night was Pascal Siakam though. Siakam totaled a game-high 30 points to go with 11 rebounds in a contest where Kawhi Leonard was 5-of-19 shooting. He showcased a versatile game that made it evident he is one of the league’s most promising rising stars.
Terrence Ross paced Orlando with 24 points on five made 3-pointers.
The Magic shocked everyone with their Game 1 win, but now the tables have turned. They’ll have to respond in Game 4 to stay afloat.
The Celtics appear to have figured a few things out.
While Boston struggled to find chemistry at times during the regular season, it secured a 3-0 lead over Indiana with a 104-96 victory over the Pacers on Friday.
Jaylen Brown seemingly couldn’t miss in Game 3, posting a game-high 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting.
Seven Pacers reached double-digits in points. They were led by Tyreke Evans’ 19 points, but the game remained out of reach for most of the contest.
The Celtics have a chance to complete a first-round sweep against a feisty Indiana team on Sunday to kick off a strong start to the postseason.
Oklahoma City managed to avoid being swept by Portland in Loud City in Game 3.
The Thunder beat the Trail Blazers 120-108 and overcame the offensive onslaught of Damian Lillard, who scored 25 points in the third quarter alone.
After a Game 2 loss, Westbrook said he needed to play better, and he did just that on Friday. The star point guard finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and five assists and battled through plenty of contact.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 20, 2019
Lillard finished with 32 points on the night.
If the Thunder can defend home court in Game 4, they can make the series interesting again.
Studs of the Night
Nikola Vucevic posted 22 points and 14 rebounds in the Magic’s loss.
Kyrie Irving totaled 19 points and 10 assists in Boston’s win.
Duds of the Night
Evan Fournier scored seven points on 1-of-12 shooting in Orlando’s loss.
Paul George scored 22 points, but it was on just 3-of-16 shooting.
The Thunder’s fast break ball movement turned into an alley-oop slam.
— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2019
Jayson Tatum created space on the baseline and stepped back to drain a jumper from the short corner.
Jayson Tatum is too smooth 👀 pic.twitter.com/M7nceuRF0V
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 20, 2019
Nuggets at Spurs 5:30 p.m. ET — Denver took the fight to San Antonio in Game 3, but didn’t come out on top. Derrick White has proved to be a difference maker for the Spurs. The Nuggets’ backcourt has plenty of room for improvement though.