Kawhi Leonard banked home the tiebreaking basket with 4.2 seconds remaining and the Toronto Raptors edged the Nets, 127-125, on Monday night.
Leonard scored 30 points, Serge Ibaka had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Pascal Siakam scored 17 for the Raptors, who have won eight straight home meetings with the Nets.
Marc Gasol, the Raptors’ newly-acquired center, scored 16 points, 11 in the fourth quarter, in his home debut after last Thursday’s trade with Memphis.
D’Angelo Russell scored 28 points and had a career-high 15 assists for Brooklyn. The Nets got the ball back to Russell for a potential game-winning shot on their final possession, but his long attempt bounced off the rim and into Kyle Lowry’s hands.
Toronto led 120-114 on a 3 by Lowry with 2 minutes 45 seconds left in the fourth but Allen Crabbe replied with back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it at 120 at 1:34.
Russell hit a tiebreaking 3 with 50 seconds to go, but Danny Green answered with a 3 for the Raptors. That left it to Leonard to put his team ahead to stay.
Before the game, the Raptors said Fred VanVleet, a reserve guard, will miss at least three weeks because of a ligament injury in his left thumb. To provide some insurance in VanVleet’s absence, Toronto agreed to sign Jeremy Lin, who is being waived by the Atlanta Hawks.
CAVALIERS 107, KNICKS 104 Collin Sexton scored 20 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a late rally and sent the Knicks to their franchise-record 17th straight loss, 107-104, on Monday night.
Sexton hit two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to put Cleveland up by three. John Jenkins missed a 3-pointer from the right corner, but Dennis Smith Jr. grabbed the rebound and dribbled to the corner. He also missed a 3-pointer and Larry Nance tapped the rebound to midcourt as time ran out.
Kevin Love had 14 points and nine rebounds in his second game since returning from foot surgery. The All-Star forward played 16 minutes, all in the first half and was 4 of 10 from the field, including two 3-pointers.
Kadeem Allen scored a career-high 25 points for the Knicks, who have the worst record in the league, and have lost 25 of 26 games.
The Knicks trailed 71-54 early in the third quarter. New York got within four points several times and back-to-back 3-pointers by Luke Kornett cut the lead to 105-104 with 51 seconds left.
Kornett missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining that would have put New York on top. Sexton followed with his two free throws
Both teams are in the running for a prime spot in the draft lottery, which takes place May 14. The three worst teams in the league will have a 14 percent chance of getting the first pick in the draft and a shot at grabbing Duke center Zion Williamson.
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