The Toronto Raptors were shocked on their home floor in Game 1, and they certainly responded with fury in Game 2. The Raptors got off to an 11-0 lead and never looked back, as they evened the series at 1-1 with a 111-82 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. Kawhi Leonard was simply sensational, scoring 37 points on 15-for-22 shooting, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range.
Kyle Lowry also had a bounce-back performance after putting up a goose egg in Game 1, finishing with 22 points and seven assists in the Game 2 win. The Magic were led by Aaron Gordon’s 20 points, and they’ll look to get a win in their first home game of the series in Friday’s Game 3.
Here’s everything you need to know about this first-round matchup between the Raptors and Magic.
No. 2 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 7 Orlando Magic
How to watch Game 3
- Date: Friday, April 19
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Location: Amway Center — Orlando, Florida
- TV channel: ESPN
- Online streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: Will be updated when released
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Playoff series schedule, results (series tied 1-1)
All times Eastern
- Game 1: Magic 104, Raptors 101 (Box Score)
- Game 2: Raptors 111, Magic 82 (Box Score)
- Game 3: Raptors at Magic, Friday, April 19, 7 p.m. — TV: ESPN
- Game 4: Raptors at Magic, Sunday, April 21, 7 p.m. — TV: TNT
- Game 5: Magic at Raptors, Tuesday, April 23, TBD — TV: TBD
- Game 6*: Raptors at Magic, Thursday, April 25, TBD — TV: TBD
- Game 7*: Magic at Raptors, Saturday, April 27, TBD — TV: TBD
Odds and Analysis
Check Sportsline’s NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.
Raptors: Toronto comes into the playoffs hoping to erase some serious demons. They’ve been eliminated by LeBron James-led Cavaliers teams in each of the past three seasons, and obviously won’t have to deal with him this time around, but are still looking to prove they’re capable of making the NBA Finals. First-year head coach Nick Nurse has thrived since taking over for Dwane Casey, and new additions Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Marc Gasol have been welcome additions, bolstered by the massive improvement of Pascal Siakam. This is a Toronto team out for blood, but a first-round scare could give them flashbacks and severely damage their confidence.
Magic: You hate to use the term “playing with house money,” but it really applies here. Not many forecasted the Magic to make the playoffs, and now that they have, pretty much nobody is giving them a chance against a loaded and experienced Raptors team. But that’s when upsets happen, when teams play with nothing to lose. Nikola Vucevic has been outstanding all season, and Aaron Gordon could be poised for a playoff breakout. It’s time to roll the ball out and see what happens.
Matchups to watch
1. Pascal Siakam vs. Aaron Gordon: Gordon, an emerging star, will likely be guarded by (among others) Siakam, who’s evolved into one of the most versatile defenders in the NBA. Gordon is a tough matchup for bigs because of his ability to play on the perimeter, and a tough matchup for wings because of his strength in the post — Siakam can handle both, which could make things difficult for Gordon in his first playoff appearance.
2. Bench units: This isn’t to be flip, but the Raptors bench could give the Magic starters a run for their money. Led by Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Serge Ibaka, Toronto’s depth has been one of its strong suits for several seasons now. Contrast that with the Magic, who have limited bench help outside of former Raptor Terrence Ross, and there could be some ugly minutes while Steve Clifford tries to get his starters some much-needed rest.
3. Kyle Lowry vs. His injuries: Toronto has rested Lowry quite a bit this season, but he has some nagging ailments that just won’t seem to go away. The Raptors will probably be alright without him given the depth mentioned above, but they’ll need Lowry during crunch time if the games end up close.
Original series prediction, pick
Raptors in four: It’d be nice to think the Magic will be able to get at least a game in their playoff return, but it doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Toronto has the advantage in pretty much every aspect, so it’ll take some monster games from Vucevic and Gordon, plus hot shooting from Ross, DJ Augustin and Evan Fournier to even have a chance. There could be some close games, but ultimately this ends in a Toronto sweep.