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Leonard buzzer-beater sends Toronto to conference finals

The Toronto Raptors are going to the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in franchise history after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 92-90 on Sunday night.

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Tomas Karageorgos | Report

The Toronto Raptors are going to the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in franchise history after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 92-90 on Sunday night.

The Raptors played a seven-man rotation, with Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka getting minutes. Serge Ibaka performed well off the bench with 17 points on 6-10 shooting.

Kawhi Leonard was the centre of attention as he has been throughout this series, he scored 41 points, the most in a Raptors playoff game. Pascal Siakam recorded a quiet double-double as he scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Kyle Lowry had 10 points to go along with six assists and six boards, along with some important plays on both ends of the floor.

All 76ers starters scored in double-figures. Joel Embiid scored 21 points and grabbed 11 boards. JJ Reddick scored 17 and scored four three-pointers, Jimmy Butler had 16. Tobias Harris recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Ben Simmons had 13.

The Raptors came out with intensity which led to Philadelphia turnovers.

The Raptors may have had a bigger lead during the game if they took advantage of the opposition’s slow start.

Leonard was a walking highlight reel for all game 7.

Former Raptor and fan-favourite José Calderón was in the house.

This is a small sample of the many little things that Lowry did to keep his team in it.

The Raptors found themselves in a similar situation as they did in 2001 in Philadelphia. Game 7, with the last possession. 18 years ago Vince Carter’s shot failed to win the series, but yesterday had a different ending with a different player.

This was the first buzzer-beater, game-winner shot in a game 7 in NBA history. That shot will live on in Toronto Raptors history forever.

The Raptors have to regroup for a new challenge in the form of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals is on Wednesday at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m.


Featured photo from NBA Canada. ■

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Raptors snap Lakers win streak

The Toronto Raptors held the Los Angeles Lakers to 44 second half points on Sunday and won 113-104.

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The Toronto Raptors held the Los Angeles Lakers to 44 second half points on Sunday and won 113-104.

Pascal Siakam recorded a double-double as he scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Fred VanVleet also had a double-double as he had 23 points and 10 assists. Norman Powell had 14.

Chris Boucher slotted into the bench spot where Serge Ibaka would be, and he scored 15 points and blocked three shots. Terence Davis had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes of action. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 10.

Anthony Davis scored 27 points for Los Angeles. Both Kyle Kuzma and Troy Daniels came off the bench and scored 15 and 11 points respectively.

LeBron James recorded a triple-double as he had 13 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. Former Raptor Danny Green scored zero points.

Chris Boucher has shown that he is a player who is capable of playing efficient basketball at multiple levels.

Arguably two highlights of the night came from Pascal Siakam, and coach Nick Nurse.

Nurse won his first coach’s challenge this season.

Toronto’s next game is against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at Staples Center.

Tip-off is set for 10:30 p.m.


Featured image from Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press. ■

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Siakam ties career-high in Raptors costly win against Pelicans

Pascal Siakam scored 44 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

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Pascal Siakam scored 44 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

Siakam initially scored 44 points as his career-high against the Washington Wizards in mid-March of this year.

Siakam also recorded a double-double against New Orleans as he grabbed 10 rebounds.

OG Anunoby scored 21 points and had seven rebounds. Norman Powell scored 18 points off the bench. Fred VanVleet had 12.

Coach Nick Nurse had to run a deep squad rotation because Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka both suffered injuries in the first half.

Here are the details on their injuries:

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Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 27 points. Jrue Holiday scored 16.

Toronto native Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 13, and Frank Jackson also scored 13.

Former G-League MVP and defensive player of the year Chris Boucher will be a player that will see more minutes with the injury to Ibaka.

The Raptors scored 75 points in the first half , the most that the franchise has scored in the first half of a game since March 2018.

The Raptors will play LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at Staples Center.

Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m.


Featured image from Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports. ■

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Raptors team performance edges Sacramento

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Sacramento Kings 124-120 on Wednesday. 

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The Toronto Raptors defeated the Sacramento Kings 124-120 on Wednesday.

All of Toronto’s starters scored in double figures.

Kyle Lowry scored 24 points and Pascal Siakam recorded a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds. OG Anunoby had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Marc Gasol and Fred VanVleet scored 12 apiece.

Serge Ibaka provided a spark off the bench as he scored 21 points in 24 minutes.

Harrison Barnes led the Kings scorers with 26 points. Buddy Hield scored 21, and De’Aaron fox had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, and made six three-pointers. Canadian and former Raptor Cory Joseph had 10 points.

Raptor Matt Thomas has not seen much action yet this season, but he has made the most of his minutes when called upon.

Ibaka has always brought passion when on the floor, and this dunk capped off his night along with the rest of the team.

The Raptors start a five-game road trip which begins on Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.


Featured image from Cole Burston/Getty Images. ■

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