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Toronto Raptors

Reliving biggest takeaways from Toronto Raptors' series-clinching win over Orlando Magic

As TSN and Sportsnet continues to air every Raptors game from last year's road to the NBA title, we'll be featuring game recaps and other written content to transport you back in time for a complete experience of reliving the most memorable stretch of basketball in Toronto's history.

For a complete listing of when TSN and SN are showing each game, check out the broadcast schedule right here.

This story was originally published on April 23, 2019.


The Toronto Raptors have closed out the series with the Orlando Magic by way of a blowout Game 5 win.

After dropping Game 1, the Raptors won four consecutive games to take out the Magic and move on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

In this game, much like the others, it was Kawhi Leonard who had the hot hand for Toronto. Leonard finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and two assists on near-perfect shooting to send Orlando packing.

For more on the Raptors' series-clinching victory, we have you covered with takeaways below.

A hot start sets the tone

The Raptors made it clear early that they were on a mission from the start.

Before you could seemingly blink, Toronto had gotten out to a 12-1 lead to start the game. By the midway point of the first quarter, the Raptors' lead had ballooned to 16 points as they had scored 19 points to the Magic's three.

The man behind it all was Kyle Lowry, whose 3-pointer at the 5:09 mark of the first frame gave him 12 points on the night and put his team up 22-3. An aggressive Lowry set the tone for Toronto, who led by as many as 24 points in the first, took a 16-point lead into the second quarter.

Through the first 12 minutes of action, Toronto was 12-for-23 (56.5%) from the field and 5-for-8 (62.5%) from beyond the arc while it held Orlando to 7-for-19 (36.8%) shooting from the field and 0-for-7 (0.0%) shooting from 3-point range.

The Raptors never really looked back as they cruised to a wire-to-wire victory over the Magic, a credit to the way in which they came out of the gates. Toronto relished in an opportunity to close out a series at home and left no doubt in the process.

Playoff Kawhi cannot be stopped

The Magic simply had no answer for Kawhi Leonard all series long.

Leonard made sure the Raptors took care of business on their home court, destroying Orlando for 27 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal on 72.7% (8-11 FG) shooting from the field and 100% (5-5 3PT) from beyond the arc.

His series averages were just ridiculous - the All-Star forward posted 27.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 55.6% from the field and 53.8% from beyond the arc.

The reason the Raptors traded for Kawhi has already come to fruition and it's only taken one playoff series.

With Toronto likely to take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the Conference Semifinals, he'll have another chance to shine on a big stage against an even more talented team, being defended by even more talented players.

Spreading the Wealth

It's been a common theme for the Raptors all season: Keep the ball moving and pass up 'good' shots for 'great' shots.

This approach continues to pay dividends, as evidenced by Toronto's extremely impressive assist numbers in Game 5. The Raptors finished the night with 34 assists on 41 made field goals (82.9%) - the team dished out more than 34 assists just three times in the 2018-19 regular season.

Fred VanVleet led the way with 10 assists in 21 minutes off the bench while Kyle Lowry was right behind him with nine assists in 26 minutes of action. The ball movement clearly led to great looks, especially behind the arc, where Toronto shot 15-for-36 (41.7%).

The Raptors finish the first round averaging 26.2 assists per game led by Lowry's 8.6 per contest. Toronto's ability to move the ball in the second round against a tough opponent will be a critical component to the team's success.

A first of its kind for Toronto

This win marks a new franchise record for the Raptors - this is the first time in franchise history that Toronto has closed out a best-of-seven series in less than six games.

The NBA switched it's playoff format to a best-of-seven series in the first round in 2003. Since then, the Raptors have won four playoff series, all in which took a minimum of six games.

In the 2016 NBA Playoffs they defeated the Indiana Pacers in seven games, then defeated the Miami Heat in seven games to reach the first Conference Finals in franchise history. In the 2017 NBA Playoffs they took six games to beat the Milwaukee Bucks and last season they took six games to beat the Washington Wizards.

On top of defeating the Magic in five games, it was their second-largest margin of victory in a series-clinching game, defeating Orlando by 19.

It was also their largest combined margin of victory in franchise history for an entire series, defeating the Magic by a total of 72 points, easily surpassing the 2016 Eastern Conference Semifinals when they defeated the Miami Heat by a total of 18 points.

All-in-all, this was the most productive and efficient series in Raptors franchise history.

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