Green leads Raptors to win over Orlando

The Canadian Press

TORONTO–Moments after Danny Green had one of the best offensive performances of his career, the Toronto Raptors guard beat a hasty exit to a nearby medical facility for tests on his injured thumb.
Green jammed his left thumb in the first quarter of a 121-109 victory over Orlando that clinched Toronto the Atlantic Division title for the fifth time in six seasons.
He went on to have seven three-pointers and a season-high 29 points.
Green’s seven threes were one shy of his career high of the eight he had in a 24-point performance in a January 19 win over Memphis.
His X-rays were negative. He was undergoing an MRI last night.
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 found another gear in the second quarter, turning an 11-point second-quarter deficit into a 10-point lead by halftime seemingly with ease.
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.
None of the starters saw the floor in the fourth quarter. Orlando made a run in the dying minutes after 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 game back of eighth-place Miami.
Yesterday’s game was the first of four games for Toronto against teams playing for their post-season lives.
The Raptors visit Brooklyn tomorrow, Charlotte on Friday, then return home to host the Heat on Sunday, the Raptors’ final regular-season game at home.
In other NBA action yesterday, the Pacers pounded the Pistons 111-102; the Celtics beat the Heat 110-105; the Bucks trampled the Nets 131-121; the Knicks defeated the Bulls 113-105; the Mavericks beat the 76ers 122-102; the Jazz outplayed the Hornets 111-102; the Trail Blazers beat the T’wolves 132-122; and the Suns burnt the Cavaliers 122-113.

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