The Toronto Raptors have now won four straight games, advancing to 55-23 on the season with a 12-point win over the Orlando Magic Monday night.
Led by Danny Green, six different Raptors scored in double figures and nine different players scored at least five points on the night. Toronto shot a red-hot 50 percent from the field and 51.4 percent from deep as good ball movement again yielded positive results - it assisted on 31 of its 42 made field goals on the night.
Orlando, who falls to 38-40, was led by 21 points from Evan Fournier. All-Star Nikola Vucevic finished the night with a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double and Canadian Khem Birch chipped in 11 points off the bench.
With four games remaining in the season, the Raptors look to continue to build momentum for a postseason run. With that in mind, here are four takeaways from the win…
His performance fueled Toronto tonight and is worthy of a takeaway of its own.
Green scored a season-high 29 points while shooting 11-for-15 from the field and 7-for-10 from beyond the arc. In addition to his scoring outburst, Green pulled down five rebounds, blocked three shots and grabbed two steals, making his presence felt on both ends of the floor.
Over the Raptors four-game win streak, Green is shooting lights out from beyond the arc - the 10-year veteran has knocked down 16 of his last 23 3-point attempts, a blistering 69.6 percent. His shooting paced the Raptors in the win, as the team knocked down 19, outscoring the Magic by 21 points from beyond the arc.
Green's getting hot at the best possible time as his 3-point shooting could sway a playoff series.
The End of the First Half
Midway through in the second quarter, Toronto trailed 50-43 and it appeared that Orlando simply had the team's number this season.
The Raptors responded by ramping up the intensity.
By closing the quarter on a 19-2 run, Toronto entered the halftime break with a 60-52 lead and it didn't stop there, either. The extended run continued into the third quarter, where the Raptors would lead by as many as 24 points.
In total, the Raptors outscored the Magic 52-25 from the midway point in the second quarter to the end of the third to head into the fourth quarter with a 20-point lead.
The final score was closer than things actually were, but the tone was set by the run made as the first half came to a close.
Ball Movement Brings Success
Led by seven dimes from both point guards Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, Toronto finished the night assisting on 31 of its 46 made field goals. It's the 20th time this season, the Raptors dished out over 30 assists.
The team's record in those 20 games? 19-1. To take it a step further, Tronto is 35-8 when dishing out 25 or more assists.
By now it's no secret that this offence is at its absolute best when the ball is swiftly moving and good shots are passed up for great looks. This is evidenced by the Raptors' high shooting percentages on the night.
From the middle of the second quarter until the end of the game, Toronto assisted on 18 of its 26 made field goals, shooting 51 percent from the field, outscoring Orlando 78-59.
This will be huge in the postseason.
Atlantic Division Champs
With the win, the Raptors clinched the Atlantic Division title for the second consecutive season and the sixth time in franchise history.
Clinched the Atlantic. #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/C2mOaGRx1x- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 2, 2019
The team is establishing some dominance in the division, as it has won five of the last six division titles, with Boston winning in 2017. Along with the benchmark of winning 50 games, the perennial excellence within the division is crucial in developing the identity of a prestigious franchise.
With the playoffs inching closer, this team can cross one goal off of its list with plenty of bigger goals to go.