Raptors set franchise records for road wins and threes in season-ending win over Minnesota
|Toronto Star 10 Apr 2019 at 04:54|
With an easy 120-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, they set a franchise record for road wins in a season and, with a 58-24 record, they are guaranteed to finish with the second-best record in the league and would have home-court advantage should they make the NBA final for the first time in team history.
That, of course, is a long way off and there is a perilous road ahead. But it is something the team has never done before and the potential home-court edge is a fitting end to a successful season.
Kawhi Leonard had 20 points in just 24 minutes in a game in which no starter played more than 26 minutes. Fred VanVleet finished with 16 points as the Raptors finished their road season with a 26-15 road record. The previous best road record was 25-16 last season.
Toronto blew the game open with a 43-point outburst in the second quarter, giving head coach Nick Nurse even more reason to rest key players in the final two quarters.
Still to be determined, though, is who the Raptors will play when the post-season opens at Scotiabank Arena either Saturday or Sunday. The list of potential opponents remains at three.
The Detroit Pistons, trailing by 22 at one point in their home game against Memphis, rallied to beat the Grizzlies and are still a candidate to face Toronto.
The Brooklyn Nets (41-40), Orlando Magic (41-40) and Pistons (40-41) are all possibilities going into the final night of the regular seasons. Brooklyn hosts Miami, Orlando plays at Charlotte and Detroit is in New York on Wednesday night.
Lowry ended up playing 65 games and Ibaka 74 on the season. Only Pascal Siakam and Danny Green, each with 80 games played, appeared in more games than Ibaka.
Moreland had a 10-day deal with Toronto that expired on March 24 after he appeared in three games, averaging about 10 minutes and two points per game. His addition brings the roster to the maximum allowable 15 players and adds some frontcourt emergency depth.