The defending champion Toronto Raptors moved within one win of advancing in the NBA playoffs on Friday (Aug 21) with a convincing 117-92 win over the injury-depleted Brooklyn Nets.
Pascal Siakam scored 26 points, pulled down eight rebounds and handed out five assists for the Raptors, who connected on 50.5 per cent of their shots from the field and 47.8 per cent from three-point range.
Kyle Lowry came up just short of a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for a Raptors team that can clinch a second round berth in game four on Sunday.
“We’re just taking it a possession at a time,” Lowry said.
“We can’t focus on anything else. Closeout games are always the toughest. We know they’re not going to lay down.”
The Raptors had trounced the Nets in game one of the series in the NBA’s coronavirus quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.
The injury-hit Nets made it closer in game two, but made just 30 of 90 shots from the floor in game three.
Tyler Johnson led the Nets with 23 points, Caris LeVert added 15 and Chris Chiozza chipped in 14 off the bench, but, as in game one, the Nets never led.
Fred VanVleet opened the game with a three-pointer. Johnson answered with a three-pointer to tie it, but Lowry’s shot from beyond the arc in the second minute put the Raptors up for good and Toronto would lead by as many as 31 in the fourth quarter.
VanVleet finished with 22 points, connecting on six of 10 three-point attempts.
Serge Ibaka added 20 points and 13 rebounds off the Raptors bench.