Raptors sweep Nets

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The defending champions ended the Nets’ season with a 150-122 win, but Toronto awaits the status of All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry ahead of its series with Boston after he left with an injury.

Norman Powell scored 29 points, his fellow reserve Serge Ibaka added 27 points and 15 rebounds and the Toronto Raptors cruised into the Eastern Conference semifinals by routing the Nets, 150-122, on Sunday to complete a sweep.

The Raptors lost All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry to an ankle injury in the first quarter but the defending N.B.A. champions had more than enough depth left to wrap up their first sweep in franchise history and set up a series against the Boston Celtics.

Boston, seeded third, also swept its first-round series, ousting Philadelphia in four games.

Pascal Siakam had 20 points and 10 assists for the Raptors. They improved their record to 11-1 at Walt Disney World and made it clear it won’t be easy to unseat them atop the NBA.

Boston handed Toronto its lone loss since the restart and will be a much sterner test than the undermanned Nets, who were using converted guards as forwards, and forwards as centers.

The Raptors would likely need Lowry for that one. He was grimacing in pain in the first quarter and soon left the game and eventually the arena to have his left ankle examined.

Caris LeVert scored 35 points for the Nets, who came to the bubble without many of its top players but went 5-3 in the seeding games to keep the No. 7 seed it held entering the restart.

But the Raptors overpowered them in three of the four games and used a rally in the fourth quarter to win Game 2, the only one in which the Nets had a chance.

The Nets were swept for the first time since Miami beat them four straight in the first round in 2005. Toronto beat the Nets for the first time in three postseason meetings. The Nets had won in 2007, before their move from New Jersey, and in 2014.

The Raptors began to get separation Sunday near the end of the first quarter and then seized control in the second, getting inside easily against the undersized Nets. Only LeVert, with 26 points in the half, could keep it from getting completely out of hand, helping to cut Toronto’s 17-point lead to 77-68 by halftime.


But the Raptors blew it open for good quickly when they returned. Powell hit the second of Toronto’s three straight 3-pointers in a 12-0 run that doubled the lead to 94-70, and Ibaka nailed consecutive 3-point shots late in the third quarter to extend it to 27. Terence Davis tossed in a 30-footer at the buzzer to make it 116-87.

The Raptors’ Nick Nurse was honored at midcourt before the game after being voted Coach of the Year on Saturday. He improved to 20-8 in the postseason, one shy of Dwane Casey’s franchise record for playoff victories. Casey, Nurse’s predecessor and the current Detroit Pistons coach, went 21-30 in five playoff appearances.


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