Raptors lead Magic 2-1

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Toronto Raptors’ forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket against Orlando Magic’s forward Jonathan Isaac during Game 3 of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Amway Center in Orlando Friday. — Reuters

ORLANDO — Pascal Siakam scored a postseason-career high 30 points and had 11 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors seized a 2-1 lead against Orlando Magic in the first round playoff series with a 98-93 win Friday.

“He’s unbelievable,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said of Siakam. “He’s the most improved basketball player in the NBA this year and he’s only going to get better.”

Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Danny Green scored 13 points and Lowry had 12 points for the Raptors who guarded Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic closely for the second straight game.

Vucevic scored 22 points and nabbed 14 rebounds for the Magic. Terrence Ross finished with a team-high 24 points, Jonathan Isaac scored 14, and Aaron Gordon had 10.

Game 4 in the best-of-seven series is Sunday in Orlando.

Siakam was 13 for 20 from the floor and the Raptors held Orlando to 36 percent shooting.

“It’s just taking what a defense gives us and going with it,” Siakam said.

Lowry nailed a three pointer with just under eight minutes to go in the fourth to give Toronto a 17-point lead, their biggest lead of the game.

The Raptors scored the first 10 points of the game and led by 11 before finishing with a 26-21 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The first half ended with Ross nailing a 40-foot three-pointer to cut Toronto’s lead to 48-45.

The Raptors took a seven-point lead early in the third quarter, but Vucevic converted back to back three-pointers with 6:37 to go for Orlando’s first lead of the game, 59-57.

Leonard hit a jump shot to give Toronto a nine-point lead late in the fourth.

The Magic responded and Ross made a layup to cut the margin to 94-90. Siakam’s jumper gave Toronto a six-point lead with 93 seconds left.

Ross cut the lead to three with a three-pointer with 42 seconds remaining. Leonard made two free throws with 13 seconds left to ice the victory.

Celtics 104, Pacers 96

Kyrie Irving had a hand in 11 of Boston’s final 16 points Friday night as the Celtics withstood a late charge by the Indiana Pacers to record a 104-96 win at Indianapolis and go up 3-0 in an Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchup.

The Pacers, playing at home for the first time in the series, got within 88-87 with 6:05, but that’s when Irving took over.

He had two hoops, assisted on 3- and 2-point baskets by Al Horford and made two free throws down the stretch, helping the Celtics pull away. He finished with 19 points and 10 assists. Jaylen Brown had 23 points to lead the Celtics, who held the Pacers under 100 points for the third consecutive game.

Tyreke Evans led seven Pacers in double figures with 19 points off the bench.

Thunder 120, Trail Blazers 108

Russell Westbrook scored 33 points as Oklahoma City beat visiting Portland to take a two-games-to-one lead in a Western Conference first-round playoff series.

After vowing to play better following the Thunder’s Game 2 loss, Westbrook shot 11 of 22 from the floor while adding 11 assists and five rebounds. He also made 4 of 6 3-point attempts after sinking just 1 of 10 long-range attempts over the first two games.

Portland’s Damian Lillard had a quiet first half, scoring only four points on 2-of-6 shooting. However, Lillard dominated in Portland’s 43-point third quarter, scoring 25 points to make a game of it. Lillard, who finished with a team-high 32 points, shot 8 of 11 from the floor in the third. But he did not score in the fourth until less than two minutes remained and the Thunder were ahead by 12. — Agencies


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