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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:00 am

NBA Playoffs Toronto 98 Orlando 93

Raptors hold off late Magic rally

TIM REYNOLDS | Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. – Pascal Siakam had 30 points and 11 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and the Toronto Raptors held off the Orlando Magic 98-93 on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round series.

Siakam was 13 for 20 and the Raptors held Orlando to 36% shooting. Leonard had 10 rebounds, Danny Green had 13 points and Kyle Lowry finished with 12 points and 10 assist.

Terrence Ross led Orlando with 24 points, and Nikola Vucevic shook off a slow start to finish with 22 points and 14 rebounds.

Game 4 is Sunday night in Orlando.

The Raptors trailed 61-60 midway through the third, then went on a 16-0 run over the next four minutes to take the lead for good. Siakam and Green were both 3 for 3 during the run, the Magic missed 10 consecutive shots.

That being said, they went down swinging.

Lowry's 3-pointer with 7:48 left gave Toronto its biggest lead at 86-69. The Magic came flying back, and Ross' 3-pointer with 41 seconds left got Orlando to 96-93.

Leonard was short with a jumper on the next possession – but the Magic couldn't control the rebound, and were doomed shortly afterward. Leonard made a pair of free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game, and that closed the scoring.

Orlando, which finished the regular season by winning 13 of its final 14 home games, was 13 of 44 from 3-point range.

Toronto scored the first 10 points – the last five by Siakam, who was a problem from the outset for the Magic – and led by as many as 11 in the first half.

Orlando got within one on three occasions in the first half. Toronto took a 48-45 lead into the break after Ross beat the clock from midcourt at the buzzer.

He took off from the Magic logo and released the ball with about a half-second remaining, it hitting the square on the backboard perfectly and dropping through. Ross never broke stride, watching the ball's flight as he ran and kept going through the tunnel leading to the Magic locker room.