LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Pascal Siakam scored a postseason-career high 30 points and had 11 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors seized a 2-1 lead in the first round playoff series with a 98-93 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday.
‘’He’s unbelievable,’’ Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said of Siakam. ‘’He’s the most improved basketball player in the NBA this year and he’s only going to get better.”
Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and 10 rebounds while Danny Green scored 13 points and Lowry had 12 points for the Raptors who guarded Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic closely for the second straight game.
Vucevic scored 22 points and nabbed 14 rebounds for the Magic. Terrence Ross finished with a team-high 24 points, Jonathan Isaac scored 14, and Aaron Gordon had 10.
Game four in the best-of-seven series is Sunday in Orlando.
Siakam was 13 for 20 from the floor and the Raptors held Orlando to 36 percent shooting.
Lowry nailed a three pointer with just under eight minutes to go in the fourth to give Toronto a 17-point lead, their biggest lead of the game.
CELTICS TAKE 3-0 LEAD
Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics withstood a late surge to post a 104-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers to take a stranglehold 3-0 lead in their first round best-of-seven Eastern Conference series.
Kyrie Irving helped the Celtics close it out by scoring 11 of their final 16 points.
Boston gets a chance to close out the Pacers in Indiana on Sunday.
Jaylen Brown had 23 points to lead the Celtics, who held the Pacers under 100 points for the third straight game.
Irving finished with 19 points and 10 assists.
THUNDER FINALLY WIN
Also, Russell Westbrook scored 33 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 120-108 to take game three of a Western Conference series.
The Trail Blazers lead the series 2-1 heading to game four on Sunday.