The Raptors have now won a best-of-seven series in less than six games for the first time in franchise history and it was largely drama-free. The Toronto Raptors have split their last eight games ATS when a double-digit favorite.
The Raptors were swept in the second round of the postseason past year at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Raptors move on to the second round, likely against the Philadelphia 76ers - who will pose a more hard challenge.
Raptors: Toronto had 10 assists on 13 made baskets in the first quarter, and 19 on 23 baskets in the first half. Toronto connected on 10 three-pointers and received 14 points from Kawhi Leonard, and 12 points apiece from Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam in the first half.
After going scoreless in game 1, Lowry averaged 14.8 points and 8.8 assists the rest of the series. "We get a win out there [in Toronto], then the series is up for grabs". It's been pretty fun to be part of a team that's just kind of staying the course - no ups, no downs.
The Raptors made it clear early that they were on a mission from the start. The Sixers pick up an 88-87 win over the Raptors in Game 7 of their semi-final series.
On top of defeating the Magic in five games, it was their second-largest margin of victory in a series-clinching game, defeating Orlando by 19. These Raptors put the Magic on the mat and stomped a collective gym shoe into its throat. The Magic has shown little sign of posing a threat since its surprise Game 1 upset so there's no need to play the +575 for the road team. "With that in our mind we just want to go out there and leave it on the floor".
Toronto's efficiency was absolutely clinical, starting with their stout defence. "And he's always been a winning player anyway, but I think he now knows this is his best chance so far, and he's playing at a really high level".
The Magic contend they'll keep fighting. Kyle Lowry's Game 1 shutout and Kawhi Leonard's puzzling first-game load management seem like they occurred centuries ago.
Drake was hollering and cheering courtside.
"We're going to go to Toronto and, obviously, look for a win. But they're big all over".
While he still has a long way to go in his career, Leonard is no stranger to postseason success, winning an National Basketball Association title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, where he was named Finals MVP as a 22-year-old, thanks largely to his phenomenal defensive performance against LeBron James in his prime. He jogged off the floor late in the second quarter with what appeared to be a finger injury. "I popped it back in. He was, I dunno, maybe as good as I've ever seen him in this series".
The Raptors were up by 31 inside the third quarter, but there were still thrilling moments to be had: some driving dunks by Norman Powell and spicy spin moves from Siakam. Terrence Ross walked alongside him.
"Man, it's a fight", Gordon said of his first playoff series.
Lead a team. Play his guts out. The fans closed out the night in standing ovation for their advancing Raptors. Neither of them have been a Finals Most Valuable Player.