Posted on April 20, 2019, by Travis Pulver
With how Orlando was playing going into the postseason there was a lot of hope for them despite being a 7-seed. But they were not expected to steal Game One in Toronto. So, heading home for Game Three, they had a shot to get out in front of the Raptors and take control of the series.
There was just one problem—Toronto had the same opportunity.
However, to get the win, Toronto really needed someone other than Kawhi Leonard, since he is under the weather, to take charge of the game. But as it turns out, Pascal Siakam was happy to be that guy. With 30 points and 11 rebounds, he led the Raptors to a tough 98-93 win over the Magic in Orlando.
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“He’s unbelievable,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said of Siakam after the game. “He’s the most improved basketball player in the NBA this year and he’s only going to get better.”
Leonard was still able to chip in a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Danny Green added another 13 and Lowry had a double-double as well with 12 points and ten assists.
“It was really what I thought it was going to be tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said after the game, via ESPN. “I really thought this was going to be a tough atmosphere to play in.”
The game started out well enough for Toronto as they were able to get out to an early lead, 26-21, after the first. However, Orlando closed the gap a little in the second. But at the half, it was Toronto out in front, 48-45. In the third, Orlando briefly took the lead about midway through the quarter.
But the Raptors moved back in front quickly and pushed the lead out to 11 heading into the fourth.
Toronto led by double digits for most of the third, but an 11-4 run in the final minutes got the Magic within three, 96-93, with 42.4 seconds to go. Orlando would not make another shot. Leonard hit a pair of free throws to close out the scoring in the final seconds of the game.
Terrance Ross led the way for Orlando with 24 points followed by Nikola Vucevic with 22 points and 14 rebounds. After the game, Vucevic talked about what he felt hurt the team’s chances of winning—turnovers, via ESPN.
“Our turnovers hurt us again. We had too many of those. Empty possessions for us and against a team like that you can’t have that.”
Orlando also struggled to hit their shots going just 36.3 percent (29-80) from the field and hitting only 13 of 44 attempts from three-point range. Toronto, on the other hand, hit 44.8 and 39.3 percent, respectively.
All is not lost for the Magic just yet, though. They can still win the series but will need to win Game Four Sunday to really have a shot. Overcoming a 2-1 deficit is one thing but overcoming a 3-1 deficit is close to impossible.
The series will move back to Toronto for Game Five on Tuesday.