Toronto – Pascal Siakam was double-double with 29 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 117-115 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
With the win, Toronto will now be able to finish no less than fifth in the Eastern Conference where there is one game left in the regular season.
Gary Trent Jr. added 26 points (48-33) for Toronto, while Scotty Burns added 16 in the win.
The Rockets (20-61) were led by Kevin Porter Jr., who finished with a double-double with 35 points and 10 rebounds.
The Raptors have now won three games in a row and an 8-2 game in their last 10 games.
Toronto has made a slow start, dropping as much as 24 points early in the second quarter. Although the Raptors were able to overcome the deficit, the game was tied on several occasions in the third and fourth episodes.
In just 4.8 seconds, Trent Jr. proved to be the winner of a tough format game, as Toronto’s defense was long enough to secure a win over Houston’s last possession.
Trent Jr. and Raptors rookie Scotty Burns scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and Barnes electrified the sold-out crowd of 19,800 at Scotiabank Arena with a fast-break dunk to give the Raptors a four-run lead just minutes later. To follow.
Siakam’s efforts put the Raptors within striking distance in the crucial fourth quarter. He had 18 of Toronto’s 57 points in the first half, keeping the game competitive as Houston’s lead increased.
Houston made a heated start, as Toronto fought on both sides of the court early in the game. Rockets fired 65.2 percent from the field in the first quarter, while Raptors managed only 22.2 percent at their own ends.
Fifteen first-quarter points from the Houston Guard Porter Jr. led the Rockets to a 16-point lead after a starting frame.
Toronto started to come alive in the second, as they surpassed the Rockets 37-30 that quarter and scored 14 points during the Siakam period.
The Raptors will travel to New York on Sunday to fight the Knicks in their regular-season final.