For the Orlando Magic, the primary sport of the playoffs felt loads like the ultimate few weeks of the common season: excessive stakes, small margins, and an enormous win on the finish of the day.
D.J. Augustin scored 25 factors, together with the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left, and the Magic beat the Toronto Raptors 104-101 in Recreation 1 of their Jap Convention first-round sequence on Saturday.
Kawhi Leonard bought a closing shot for Toronto, however missed the rim together with his 3-pointer from the highest.
Orlando went 22-9 over the ultimate 31 video games of the season to clinch its first playoff berth since 2012.
“I feel it helps,” Magic coach Steve Clifford mentioned of his staff’s powerful regular-season end. “We have been enjoying video games that we needed to win and had been significant video games for some time.”
Nikola Vucevic, who scored 11 factors, mentioned Orlando’s stretch drive assist the staff’s psychological preparation for the grind of the postseason.
“All through this final month, we had been in a position to combat via lots of completely different adversity and it has form of ready us for the playoffs,” Vucevic mentioned.
And, when crunch time arrived in Recreation 1, Orlando was fully unfazed.
“We made a bunch of huge performs within the final three or 4 minutes,” Clifford mentioned.
Aaron Gordon had 10 factors and 10 rebounds, Evan Fournier scored 16 factors and Jonathan Isaac had 11 because the No. 7-seeded Magic grew to become the most recent staff to beat Toronto within the opening sport of a playoff sequence. The Raptors are 2-14 in playoff openers.
“We all know who we’re and that is one sport,” Toronto’s Kyle Lowry mentioned. “We have to verify we all know who we’re and execute what we will do. Once we do what we’re speculated to do, we’re actually, actually good.”
Leonard scored 25 factors, Pascal Siakam had 24 and Fred VanVleet had 14 for the second-seeded Raptors, who reclaimed the lead after trailing by 16 factors within the second quarter, however could not maintain on down the stretch.
Toronto bought 13 factors apiece from Danny Inexperienced and Marc Gasol, however Lowry completed scoreless, lacking all seven of his makes an attempt. Lowry did have eight assists and 7 rebounds.
“He had some actually attractiveness that he is usually going to knock down,” coach Nick Nurse mentioned. “I am positive he’ll bounce again and play just a little higher within the subsequent sport.”
Leonard hit a tying Three with 1:35 left, then put Toronto up 101-99 with a jumper at 1:02. Augustin made a layup to tie it once more with 44 seconds left, then related from lengthy vary for the fourth time to win the sport.
Gasol mentioned he and Leonard bought their defensive assignments blended up on Augustin’s decisive shot, leaving the guard vast open.
“It was a mistake made on that play,” Gasol mentioned. “We miscommunicated and he made shot.”
Augustin’s Three was the seventh lead change of the ultimate quarter and the 13th of the sport.
“After I noticed the opening, I shot the ball with confidence and it went in,” he mentioned.
Augustin made 9 of 13 makes an attempt, going four of 5 from past the arc.
Leonard made all 4 of his makes an attempt within the first and added a pair of free throws. He scored 11 factors within the opening quarter as Toronto led 30-25.
Main 42-41 with 3:46 remaining within the second, Orlando bought 10 factors from Augustin in a 15-Zero run that put the Magic up 57-41 with 55 seconds left. Siakam stopped Toronto’s drought with a leap shot, and Gasol and Inexperienced added 3-pointers however the Raptors trailed 57-49 at halftime.
Leonard scored 5 factors as Toronto used a 12-2 spurt firstly of the third, reclaiming the lead on Gasol’s Three at 8:19. Siakam scored eight factors within the third, whereas Leonard and Inexperienced every had seven, because the Raptors took a slender 76-75 result in the fourth.
Magic: F Jonathan Isaac (concussion) and Nikola Vucevic (sickness) each began after lacking Orlando’s regular-season finale Wednesday. …Vucevic did not rating within the first quarter, lacking all three of his makes an attempt.
Raptors: Toronto shot Three for 10 from 3-point vary within the first quarter, and three for 11 within the second. The Raptors completed 12 for 36 from outdoors. … Siakam had 9 rebounds.
Former Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas bought an enormous ovation when he walked to his baseline seat close to the Toronto bench a couple of minutes earlier than the tipoff. Valanciunas, C.J. Miles and Delon Wright had been traded to Memphis in February for Gasol.
END OF THE LINE
Toronto failed to attain at the least 110 factors for the primary time in 10 video games. The Raptors sett a franchise document by scoring 110 or extra in 9 straight video games to complete the common season.
Recreation 2 is Tuesday evening in Toronto