Raptors, 76ers each clinch series, will face off in East semifinals
Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points, Pascal Siakam added 24 and the Toronto Raptors used another stifling defensive effort to beat the Orlando Magic 115-96 on Tuesday night in Toronto, winning their first-round playoff series in five games.
Kyle Lowry scored 14 points as the Raptors finished off the Magic with ease, bouncing back from a Game 1 defeat to win by double-digits in three of the next four. Toronto led by as many as 37 in the clincher, their biggestever margin in a playoff game.
It’s the fourth straight year the Raptors have reached the second round.
Leonard made 8 of 11 shots, including 5 of 5 from 3-point range, as the Raptors jumped on Orlando early and never trailed. Leonard also made all six of his free throws. He checked out to cheers of “MVP, MVP” with 8:05 to play and Toronto up 10575.
76ers 122, Nets 100: Philadelphia used a 14-0 start to beat visiting Brooklyn in Game 5 and win their Eastern Conference playoff series. Ben Simmons thumped his chest after a big dunk as the Sixers raced to a 32-12 lead. Joel Embiid had 23 points and 13 rebounds. Philadelphia will play Toronto in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Notable Suns: Phoenix fired coach Igor Kokoskov after one season. The team announced Kokoskov’s firing in a statement Monday night. A longtime NBA assistant, Kokoskov was the first European-born head coach in NBA history when Phoenix hired him to replace interim coach Jay Triano in 2018. Kokoskov’s firing leaves Phoenix searching for its fifth head coach in five seasons.
Cavaliers: A person familiar with the team’s plans says the Cavaliers intend to interview Portland assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool for their coaching job. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. The Trail Blazers host Oklahoma City on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their opening-round playoff series. Cleveland is looking for a coach to replace Larry Drew.