There’s a new regular-season champion in the Eastern Conference.
Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 25 points http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/jimmy-graham-jersey , DeMar DeRozan had 12 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Indiana Pacers 92-73 on Friday night, clinching the top seed in the East for the first time in team history.
”There’s gratification but you’re not satisfied,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. ”We haven’t got to our ultimate goal, but it’s a feeling of gratification.”
Jakob Poeltl scored 10 points as the Raptors set franchise records for wins in a season (57) and home wins (33).
”We’ve got home-court advantage throughout the (East) playoffs,” DeRozan said, ”so let’s use that to our advantage.”
The Raptors have lost to LeBron James and Cavaliers in each of the past two postseasons, including a Conference finals defeat two years ago and a second-round exit last spring.
Toronto is the seventh different team in as many years to finish first in the East, following Chicago, Miami, Indiana Jaguars Game Jerseys , Atlanta, Cleveland and Boston. Still, James’ team has represented the East in the NBA Finals in each of those years.
Kyle Lowry had nine points and nine assists, and Jonas Valanciunas added 12 rebounds for Toronto, which never trailed in its ninth consecutive home victory over the Pacers. Toronto also locked up its fourth Atlantic Division title in the past five years.
”The journey is not over,” Lowry said.
The Pacers have not won north of the border since March 1, 2013.
Indiana came in after completing a season sweep of reigning NBA champion Golden State with a 126-106 home victory on Thursday night. However, the Pacers fell behind in a poor-shooting first quarter and never seriously challenged in this one.
”They pressured us, they pushed the tempo,” Pacers coach Nate McMIllan said. ”We just didn’t have any legs.”
Glenn Robinson III scored 12 points and Trevor Booker had 11 for the Pacers. Indiana shot 26 for 87 (29.9 percent) and set season-lows in points Alex Lewis Jersey , made field goals, and field goal percentage.
”They’re a tough team,” Casey said. ”We caught them at a good time.”
After Bojan Bogdanovic made a jump shot with 8:28 left in the first, the Pacers missed 10 straight shots over the next five minutes before Domantas Sabonis snapped the slump with layup at 3:09. Indiana missed 18 of its first 21 shots attempts before ending the first with back-to-back 3-pointers.
Ibaka scored 10 points in the opening quarter and Toronto led 26-14 after one.
Booker made a pair of free throws as Indiana cut it to 32-28 with 5:04 left in the half but Toronto regained control with an 8-0 run. The Raptors led 45-33 at halftime.
Ibaka made all five shots he attempted in the third, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help Toronto take a 72-49 lead into the fourth.
Pacers: Victor Oladipo extended his streak of consecutive games with a steal to 63, tying him with Gary Payton for the fifth-longest streak in NBA history. … The Pacers have lost 12 of their past 15 regular-season meetings with the Raptors. … Indiana is 20-20 on the road.
Raptors: Ibaka matched a career best with five made 3-pointers. … Toronto had 20 rebounds in the first quarter. … The Raptors won 56 games in 2015-16, when they had 32 home victories. … Toronto had 23 turnovers, a season worst. … The Raptors set a season-best for points allowed.
Casey is the third coach in NBA history to improve his team’s win total in six of seven seasons. The others were Boston’s Red Auerbach (1955-56 to 1961-62) and Phoenix’s John MacLeod (1974-75 to 1980-81).
Toronto is 8-0 when Ibaka scores 20 or more.
Indiana didn’t have a double-digit scorer until Booker made a free throw with 9:32 left in the fourth.
STRUGGLE FOR STARTERS
Indiana’s starting five combined for 18 points, shooting 8 for 36.
Pacers: Visit Charlotte on Sunday. Indiana has lost four straight road games in the series.
Raptors: Host Orlando on Sunday. Toronto has won its past three meetings with the Magic.
More NBA basketball: Chris Davis is feeling ”calm and easy” at the plate.
His big swings are making the Baltimore Orioles feel like winners again.
One day after hitting a drought-breaking homer http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/davon-house-jersey , Davis belted a three-run double and Mark Trumbo hit a first-inning grand slam to power the Orioles to a 7-5 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
Davis worked on his swing for almost two weeks before returning to the lineup on Friday with his first homer since May 9, and he added more momentum to his renewed confidence with his big fifth-inning double high off the right-center wall.
”I feel a lot better,” Davis said. ”I feel like I’m getting there. I’m starting to get that calm and easy feel, seeing the ball a little bit better and putting some good swings on the ball.”
Dylan Bundy (6-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings while improving to 3-0 in June. One day after allowing four runs and recording only one out, Zach Britton pitched around a one-out walk to Johan Camargo in the ninth to earn his first save.
The last-place Orioles have won four of six.
AL East-leading Atlanta dropped its third consecutive game. Julio Teheran (5-5) allowed a season-high seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Trumbo’s homer was his fourth in his last six games. He has seven homers this season after missing April with a right quad strain.
Nick Markakis, who spent his first nine seasons with Baltimore, drove in three runs for Atlanta, including a two-run double off Donnie Hart in the seventh.
Ozzie Albies had four hits for the Braves, including an infield single off Mychal Givens in the eighth that sent Charlie Culberson to third base. Givens’ errant pickoff throw to first base allowed Culberson to score, cutting Baltimore’s lead to 7-5. Givens walked Freddie Freeman before striking out Markakis to end the inning.
The Orioles led 4-0 before Teheran recorded an out. Colby Rasmus walked Derrick Henry Jersey Big , Adam Jones doubled and Manny Machado walked before Trumbo hit a drive to center field.
”I think the two walks in the first inning got me in trouble and I couldn’t get out,” Teheran said.
Trumbo took a called third strike from Teheran with the bases loaded in the fifth. Davis followed with his double for a 7-1 lead.
”The bases-loaded double was the big one … that really hurt.” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
There was a 20-minute rain delay before Hart entered the game in the seventh.
Orioles: Manager Buck Showalter said OF Trey Mancini (stiff neck) needed another day before returning to the lineup. He struck out as a pinch hitter on Friday night and was held out of the lineup for the third straight game.
Braves: Closer Arodys Vizcaino was again unavailable due to a sore right shoulder. He felt more discomfort while throwing in the outfield before the game. Snitker said he hopes Vizcaino feels better on Sunday, but the team could soon face a decision on placing the right-hander on the DL.
BEATING THE BRAVES
The Orioles have won the first two games of the interleague series. Baltimore has won seven straight over Atlanta, including a three-game sweep at Camden Yards in the teams’ last series in 2015.
Each team needed a fresh arm in its bullpen following Friday’s night’s 15-inning game. The Orioles recalled Hart, a left-hander, from Triple-A Norfolk. Hart relieved Bundy in the seventh and allowed two runs without recording an out. Infielder Steve Wilkerson was optioned to Norfolk.
The Braves recalled right-hander Lucas Sims from Triple-A Gwinnett and optioned outfielder Preston Tucker to Gwinnett.
Orioles: RHP David Hess will look to recover after allowing five runs in each of his last two starts against Washington and Boston. He is 0-2 in his last four starts.
Braves: RHP Brandon McCarthy is 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA in 10 career appearances, including eight starts, against Baltimore.
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