Siakam steers Raptors past Magic

Orlando Magic guard DJ Augustin (14) goes up to make a basket against Toronto Raptors centre Marc Gasol (33) during the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs. (Reuters pic/USA Today Sports)

Pascal Siakam scored a playoff-career-best 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Friday night as the visiting Toronto Raptors defeated the Orlando Magic 98-93 to take a 2-1 lead in a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors while Danny Green scored 13 points and Kyle Lowry had 12 points and 10 assists.

Nikola Vucevic scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds points for the Magic. Terrence Ross added 24 points, Jonathan Isaac scored 14, and Aaron Gordon had 10.

Game 4 in the best-of-seven series is Sunday in Orlando.

The Raptors opened their biggest lead of the game, 17 points, with 7:48 to play in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Lowry.

The Magic came back to cut the deficit to seven on a 3-pointer by Evan Fournier with 3:56 remaining.

Leonard’s jumper increased the lead to nine, but Ross answered with a 3-pointer with 2:44 left. Ross made a layup to cut the margin to 94-90. Siakam’s jumper gave Toronto a six-point lead with 1:33 left.

Ross cut the lead to three with a 3-pointer with 42.4 seconds left. Leonard made two free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining to seal the win.

The Raptors scored the first 10 points of the game and were ahead by as many as 11 before settling for a 26-21 lead after the first quarter.

Toronto led by 10 early in the second quarter before Orlando went on a 7-0 run capped by a layup and free throw by Ross with 8:11 remaining.

Ross’ 3-pointer had Orlando within one point with 4:47 left in the half.

The first half ended with Ross hitting a 41-foot 3-pointer after Isaac’s steal on Leonard’s fifth turnover of the game to cut Toronto’s lead to 48-45.

Siakam led the scoring with 16 first-half points. Ross led Orlando with 11.

The Raptors took a seven-point lead early in the third quarter, but Vucevic made his second straight 3-pointer with 6:37 to go for Orlando’s first lead of the game, 59-57.

The Raptors used a 16-0 run capped by Siakam’s bank shot and a free throw to go ahead by 15 points.

Toronto led 76-65 after three quarters.