Raptors Clinch the Atlantic Division
Danny Green had seven three-pointers and 29 points as the Toronto Raptors clinched the Atlantic Division for a fifth time in six seasons with a 121-109 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday.
Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka had 15 points apiece, Marc Gasol chipped in with 13, Kyle Lowry had 12 and Fred VanVleet finished with 10 for the Raptors (55-23), who stretched their win streak to four in a row.
Evan Fournier topped the Magic (38-40) with 21 points, while Montreal native Khem Birch had 11.
The Raptors, who'd lost twice to the Magic earlier in the season, got off to a slow start, but turned an 11-point second-quarter deficit into a 10-point lead by halftime.
Green had three threes and 11 points in the third quarter, and when VanVleet drilled a three-pointer with 2:17 left in the frame, the long bomb put Toronto up by 24 points. They cruised into the fourth with a 95-75 lead.
Green jammed his left thumb during the first quarter and had it taped at halftime. X-rays were negative but he will go for more tests Tuesday.
None of the starters saw the floor in the fourth quarter. Orlando made a run in the dying minutes after Raptors' coach Nick Nurse had emptied his bench, pulling to within eight points with two minutes to play. But that's as close as the Magic would come.
The Magic began the night one spot out of a playoff spot in the East, a half a game back of eighth-place Miami. Monday's game was the first of four games for Toronto against teams playing for their post-season lives. The Raptors visit Brooklyn on Wednesday, Charlotte on Friday, then return home to host the Heat on Sunday, the Raptors' final regular-season game at home.
Nurse was happy to have some competition after blowout wins in Toronto's last three games (two versus Chicago, and one vs. the New York Knicks).
``I made a comment earlier that I'm glad this team's in town because they're gonna play their butts off,'' Nurse said of Orlando. ``I'm not so sure we've had a team play their backsides off here in a few games. It's been just a little bit too easy, right?
``Not taking away anything from anybody. But we've been pretty comfortable here, and I wouldn't mind maybe a little bit more stress. I don't know why.''
The Magic controlled the first quarter, racing out to nine-point lead on a Fournier dunk midway through the frame. Orlando led 36-29 to start the second.
A Fournier jumper stretched the Magic's advantage to 11 points, but the Raptors outscored the visitors 31-10 to end the half, taking a 62-52 lead into the halftime break.
Toronto shot 19-for-37 from three-point range. The Raptors' season high is 21 threes.