Raptors hold off Magic, Celtics extend lead over Pacers
The Toronto Raptors took control of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Magic by claiming a 98-93 victory in Orlando on Friday.
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.
The real star was Pascal Siakam though. Siakam totalled a game-high 30 points to go with 11 rebounds in a contest where Kawhi Leonard was five-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 three-pointers.
The Magic shocked everyone with their game one win, but now trail 2-1.
The Boston Celtics appear to have figured a few things out.
While Boston struggled to find chemistry at times during the regular season, they secured a 3-0 lead over Indiana with a 104-96 victory over the Pacers on Friday.
Jaylen Brown seemingly could not miss in game three, posting a game-high 23 points on eight-of-nine 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 worked their way back into their series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
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 two loss, Russell 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.
Lillard finished with 32 points.
If the Thunder can defend home court in game four, they can make the series – which Portland lead 2-1 – interesting again.
Vucevic magic not enough
Nikola Vucevic posted 22 points and 14 rebounds in the Magic's loss.
Kyrie Irving totalled 19 points and 10 assists in Boston's win.
Evan Fournier scored seven points on one-of-12 shooting in Orlando's loss.
Paul George scored 22 points, but it was on just three-of-16 shooting.
The Thunder's fast break ball movement turned into an alley-oop slam.
Nuggets at Spurs
Denver took the fight to San Antonio in game three, but did not 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.