Round 1 Game 3 Rap
It was over when…Kyle Lowry had the play of the game, sneaking in to steal the offensive rebound that led to a pair of free throws for Kawhi Leonard with 12.9 seconds remaining. Leonard hit both free throws to put Toronto ahead by five and the Raptors held on for the 98-93 victory. The win gives Toronto a 2-1 series lead.
Up and down: Though the Raptors quickly built a 10-0 advantage, much like Game 2’s hot start, the Magic fought back and Toronto's lead was cut to 26-21 after the opening 12 minutes. Pascal Siakam picked up where he left off in Game 2, leading all scorers with a 12-point first quarter.
Staying the course: The Magic continued to play catch up in the second quarter, getting as close as one with three minutes remaining in the half. Orlando ultimately went back to the locker room trailing by just three thanks to 41-foot three-point buzzer-beater from Terrence Ross that trimmed Toronto's halftime advantage to 48-45.
Keep pushing: Marc Gasol picked up two quick fouls in the first 2:39 minutes of the third quarter, his third and fourth, sending him to the bench. Magic big man Nikola Vucevic took advantage, scoring 14 of his 22 points in the quarter, but the Magic still couldn’t keep up with the Raptors who received a 10-point quarter from Danny Green and headed into the fourth leading by 11.
Till the buzzer sounds: No matter what the Raptors did, forcing turnovers, pushing the lead to as many as 17 midway through the fourth, the Magic did not stop fighting to get back into the game. A Pascal Siakam bucket put Toronto up 12 with 4:44 remaining, but the lead evaporated quickly and a three from Terrence Ross with 42.4 seconds remaining suddenly had Orlando within three. Free throws for Kawhi Leonard with 12.9 on the clock put Toronto ahead by five, and the Raptors held on to collect the 98-93 victory.
Raptors player of the game: Pascal Siakam seems to set a new career-high every other week. Friday’s game was his first 30-point playoff game. Siakam finished with 30 points on 13-for-20 field goals, including 3-of-4 three-point field goals, to go with 11 rebounds and four assists without a turnover. He played a team-high 42 minutes. Toronto was a game-best +14 with Siakam on the floor.
Underrated Raptors player of the game: Kyle Lowry finished with a 12-point, 10-assist double-double, but it was his offensive rebound with 15.6 seconds remaining that gave the Raptors an opportunity to extend their lead on a pair of free throws from Kawhi Leonard to keep it a two-possession game. Lowry played 40 minutes and added five rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot to his double-double effort.
That’s a rap…
“He’s unbelievable. He’s the most improved basketball player in the NBA this year. He’s going to continue to grow and get better.” - Kyle Lowry on Pascal Siakam
By the #’s…
36…Percent shooting for the Magic, after the Raptors held them to 37 percent shooting in Game 2. In comparison, the Raptors shot 45 percent from the floor.
26…Assists for Toronto, 19 for the Magic. Kyle Lowry’s 10 assists were a game-high.
44…Points in the paint for the Raptors, 26 for the Magic.
13…Orlando attempted 13 more free throws than the Raptors, making 22 of 23 free throws compared to Toronto's 9-for-10 night from the line. The Raptors made up the difference from the floor, where they made 10 more field goals than Orlando.
They said it…
It's playoff time, man. It's time to go." - Pascal Siakam during his on-court postgame interview
“That rebound, talk about that rebound. That was the game. That’s Kyle. That has nothing to do with scoring. He stuck his nose in there. He ran through that ball and got the rebound and won the game for us. It’s a team thing. Basketball is a beautiful thing because it is a team sport and everyone has each other’s back.” - Marc Gasol talking about Kyle Lowry’s offensive rebound with 15.6 seconds remaining
“He just seems to keep getting better week by week as we go here, which is good for us.” - Nick Nurse on Pascal Siakam
Up next: Game 4 will be in Orlando on Sunday at 7 P.M. ET.