Sports Raptors beat Pacers to clinch No. 1 in East, set record for franchise wins

05:11  07 april  2018
05:11  07 april  2018 Source:   Sportsnet

Toronto Raptors edge Nuggets 114-110

  Toronto Raptors edge Nuggets 114-110 Fred VanVleet scored 15 points as the Toronto Raptors' bench secured a 114-110 victory over a Denver Nuggets team hungry for a playoff spot on Tuesday. Seven Raptors scored in double figures. DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points each, Serge Ibaka finished with 13, Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam chipped in with 11 apiece, and Kyle Lowry had 11.

Lowry scored 13 points as the Raptors earned a split in the season series and clinched the tiebreaker over Boston, based on each team’s record in conference play. With its 56th win of the season, Toronto matched the franchise record set in 2015-16.

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a group of people playing a game of basketball© Frank Gunn/CP

TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors have clinched the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference, won the Atlantic Division title, and broken their franchise record for regular-season wins.

Serge Ibaka scored 25 points to lift the Raptors to their historic 92-73 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday, Toronto’s 57th win of the season, and 33rd at the Air Canada Centre. Both topped the previous records set in the 2015-16 season. The Raptors (57-22) have three games left of the regular season.

DeMar DeRozan added 12 points, while Jakob Poeltl finished with 10, and Kyle Lowry doled out nine assists.

Glenn Robinson had 12 points, Trevor Booker finished 11 points, and Canadian and former Raptors guard Cory Joseph scored six off the bench for the Pacers (47-33).

Morris scores 25 Celtics beat East-leading Raptors 110-99

  Morris scores 25 Celtics beat East-leading Raptors 110-99 Morris scores 25 Celtics beat East-leading Raptors 110-99Jayson Tatum added 24 points, six rebounds and four assists as Boston posted its sixth straight win and moved within two games of Toronto for the top seed in the East.

Lowry scored 13 points as the Raptors earned a split in the season series and clinched the tiebreaker over With its 56th win of the season, Toronto matched the franchise record set in 2015-16. Raptors : Host Indiana on Friday. Toronto has won eight straight home games against the Pacers .

Lowry scored 13 points as the Raptors earned a split in the season series and clinched the tiebreaker over With its 56th win of the season, Toronto matched the franchise record set in 2015-16. Raptors : Host Indiana on Friday. Toronto has won eight straight home games against the Pacers .

Playing in their Drake-inspired black and gold OVO jerseys, the Raptors led from the opening tipoff and, other than a second-quarter blip when they allowed the Pacers to pull within four points, they dominated for most of the night in front of a capacity Air Canada Centre crowd that included Drake.

They pulled away in the third quarter thanks largely to Ibaka, who shot a perfect 5-for-5 — including a pair of three-pointers — that put the Raptors ahead by 27 points. They took a 72-49 lead into the fourth.

The sizable lead allowed coach Dwane Casey to go to his bench for the final frame, allowing the starters some much-appreciated rest before the Raptors embark on their fifth consecutive post-season, which begins April 14.

A pair of Robinson threes midway through the fourth pulled the Pacers to within 17, but the visitors couldn’t put a significant dent in Toronto’s lead. As the clock ticked down the final seconds, the ACC crowd stood and applauded the Raptors’ regular-season record.

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Lowry scored 13 points as the Raptors earned a split in the season series and clinched the tiebreaker over Boston, based on each team’s record in conference play. With its 56th win of the season, Toronto matched the franchise record set in 2015-16.

Both Lowry and DeRozan finished with 28 points and Bismack Biyombo set a franchise record with 25 rebounds in guiding the Raptors to a 101-94 win in overtime at Indiana after the Pacers appeared to be headed for yet another win against an Eastern Conference playoff team.

The Raptors’ magic number on the night was one — either a Toronto win or Boston loss Friday clinched them the No. 1 seed, and home court for the duration of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

A solid defensive effort saw the Raptors hold Indy to 22 per cent shooting in the first quarter and, when Poeltl scored on a reverse layup with less than a minute to go, Toronto went ahead by 17 points. The Raptors took a 26-14 lead into the second quarter.

The Pacers cut Toronto’s lead to just four points with a 10-0 run midway through the second, but a three by Lowry capped a mini Raptors run that sent them into halftime up 45-33.

The Raptors host Orlando on Sunday in their last regular season home game.

Can the Raptors handle the pressure of being No. 1? .
The Toronto Raptors are the Eastern Conference's top seed for the first time in franchise history following a record-setting regular season. But this unprecedented success comes with new challenges, and cracks in the team's foundation have emerged on the cusp of the NBA's post-season. The Raptors are the Eastern Conference's top seed for the first time in franchise history following a record-setting regular season. That means the road to the NBA Finals in the East officially runs through the obligatory Drake reference.

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