Round 1 Game 4 Rap
It was over when… Serge Ibaka grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to put the Raptors ahead 96-75 with 6:06 remaining. The Raptors went on to record a 107-85 Game 4 victory to take a 3-1 series lead over the Orlando Magic.
Keeping it close: The Raptors jumped out to an early 9-1 advantage to start the game, but the Magic fought back and Toronto led by just two, 28-26, after the opening 12 minutes. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse revealed that Kawhi Leonard had been playing under the weather after Toronto’s Game 3 win on Friday. Through the first quarter of Game 4, Leonard showed no symptoms of the Game 3 malaise, scoring nine points to lead all scorers.
Building the lead: Leonard continued his scoring in the second quarter, again leading all scorers with nine points, while also helping the Raptors hold the Magic to just 35 percent shooting. Toronto won the quarter 30-16 to go into the halftime break with a 58-42 lead. While Leonard led all scorers with 18 first-half points, Pascal Siakam added 12 points for the Raptors.
Continuing to push: The third quarter was more of the same for Leonard, who scored 12 points in the period as the Raptors maintained their lead and overcame a 16-point, 6-for-6 field goal performance from Aaron Gordon in the quarter. Thanks to Leonard’s hot shooting, the Raptors went ahead by as many as 19 and held an 82-70 advantage heading into the fourth.
Closing it out: The Raptors started the fourth on a 14-5 run to extend their lead to 21 points midway through the quarter. Their defensive intensity remained high, and Toronto held Orlando to just 30 percent shooting in the final frame, again winning the quarter 25-15 en route to recording a 107-85 win.
Raptors player of the game: Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 34 points in 35 minutes to lead the Raptors in this Game 4 victory. He shot 12-for-20 from the floor, 2-for-6 from the three-point line, and 8-for-9 from the free-throw line, while adding six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.
Underrated Raptors player of the game: Norman Powell provided a spark off the bench, contributing 16 points in 21 minutes. Powell shot 7-for-9 from the floor, 1-for-2 from the three-point line and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. He also added four rebounds and an assist.
That’s a rap…
“We’re going to try and play extremely hard at home. We want to protect our home court.” - Kyle Lowry on the series shifting back to Toronto for Game 5
By the #’s…
53… Percent shooting for the Raptors, 42 percent shooting for the Magic.
45… Rebounds for Toronto, compared to 34 for Orlando.
25… Points, 10-for-17 field goals, seven rebounds, five assists and a steal for Orlando's Aaron Gordon to lead the Magic in the loss. Kawhi Leonard's 34 points led all scorers, and Pascal Siakam added 16 points for Toronto in the win.
50… Points in the paint for the Raptors, 36 points scored in the paint for the Magic.
22… Bench points scored by Orlando’s reserves. In comparison, the Raptors bench only had three players score, but those three players (Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet) combined to score 38 points.
They said it…
“I think we just go out there and play five-out basketball. We have high IQ guys that can make plays. We just play off of each other. There’s not a lot of play calling or things like that. We just play off of each other. It’s just fun when you have guys that can understand the game with you out there.” - Pascal Siakam
“I feel like my teammates had a big part [in tonight’s win], with Norm playing great, Pascal shot the ball well, Kyle did great, made big shots, Danny made a big shot at the end of the third. Marc played great, Fred came in and knocked down shots. I feel like we all played well tonight, we all had our hands on the game. Once you make shots, everyone is looking at you, saying, ‘You had control of the game.’ You can do it on both ends of the floor and it’s everybody. It’s not just me out there.” - Kawhi Leonard on Sunday’s win being a team effort
“We need them every night. If we can get that every night, it’s a must for us. Those guys are so talented that they [can] help us in that capacity, it’s great. Kawhi has a big night like tonight, it’s a super bonus, but we need everyone to play their best basketball.” - Kyle Lowry on the boost the team received from the bench
Up next: The series shifts back to Toronto for Game 5 on Tuesday where the Raptors will have a chance to close out the best-of-seven series.