Kawhi Leonard scores 45 as Raptors top 76ers

Kawhi Leonard scored a career playoff-high 45 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Pascal Siakam added 29 points and the host Toronto Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers 108-95 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Saturday night.

Leonard matched his career-best scoring total for any game, set Jan. 1 against Utah. He made 16 of 22 shots, going 3 of 6 from 3-point range, and went 10-for-11 at the foul line.

Toronto won its 14th consecutive home meeting with Philadelphia and improved to 22-3 against the 76ers since the start of the 2013-14 season. No other opponent has beaten Philadelphia more often over the past five seasons.

Leonard’s previous postseason high was 43 points, with San Antonio against Memphis on April 22, 2017.

Tobias Harris had 14 points and 15 rebounds, and JJ Redick scored 17 points for the 76ers, whose four-game playoff winning streak was snapped.

Joel Embiid scored 16 points and Ben Simmons had 14. Jimmy Butler scored 10 points and shot 4-for-12.

Leonard and Siakam both shot 7-for-9 and scored 17 points as Toronto jumped out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter. Down 7-2 early, the Raptors immediately reclaimed the lead with a 9-0 run and went almost eight minutes without missing a shot, hitting on 13 straight from the field. Toronto was up 39-31 after one.

Leonard scored 10 more in the second and the Raptors led 61-52 at halftime.

Nuggets 90, Spurs 86: Nikola Jokic had a triple-double, Jamal Murray hit a clutch floater with 36.8 seconds remaining and host Denver held off San Antonio in Game 7 in the Western Conference series to advance in the postseason for the first time in a decade. The second-seeded Nuggets built a 17-point lead in the third quarter only to see it whittled down to two with 52 seconds remaining.

Jokic finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, with no pass bigger than the one to set up Murray’s floater. DeMar DeRozan had a chance to slice into the deficit but was blocked by Torrey Craig. Then, the Spurs didn’t foul and the Nuggets were able to essentially run out the clock.

Denver will host Portland on Monday to open a second-round series.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Kawhi-Leonard-scores-45-as-Raptors-top-76ers-13801500.php.

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