Game 5 takeaways: Raptors rout Magic to cruise into 2nd round
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The Toronto Raptors dismantled the Orlando Magic in a 115-96 Game 5 win, sending the No. 7 seed packing while setting up a second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Here are some takeaways from Tuesday's victory:

Lowry goes for the jugular

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If there were doubts about whether the Raptors would look to step on Orlando's neck in the first closeout game of the series, Kyle Lowry erased them quickly.

The Raptors point guard, whose scoreless Game 1 was the biggest early headline of the series, outscored Orlando 9-1 over the opening 2:25 of Game 5. Lowry took the open shots Toronto's offense created for him, attacked the basket to put pressure on the Magic's defense, and made a couple of perfectly timed cuts to get himself easy buckets.

Lowry also became a noticeable presence on the glass in the first quarter. He was seemingly everywhere on the defensive end, too, leading to obvious frustration for the Magic.

The five-time All-Star completed the series averaging 11.4 points, 8.6 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and two steals per game, finishing with a postseason league-best plus/minus of plus-106. He also posted a 51-42-78 shooting split between Games 2 and 5.

"Like I said after Game 1, you lose a game and you're terrible. You win and you're a superhero," Kawhi Leonard said of the reaction to Lowry's series-opening performance. "He buys so much into watching film and being so smart on the floor, so I just knew that he'd look at the film, come back, and see where he could find the attack spots or see who he could set up. I enjoyed playing with him this whole series and I feel like he made us all better."

Lowry suffered a finger injury on his right (shooting) hand that needed to be "popped back in," he said. But the veteran also guaranteed he'll be fine for Game 1 of the second round after playing through the injury on Tuesday.

Magic struggled to find answers

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After winning Game 1, the Magic led for a grand total of 5:28 over the final 192 minutes in the series.

Orlando held a second-half lead for only 30 seconds, and the team never took a fourth-quarter lead over the final four games. The Magic were also outscored by 75 points in those contests, and it became clear early in Game 5 that head coach Steve Clifford had run out of options.

At one point in the first quarter on Tuesday, the Magic used a zone defense that made little sense given the amount of shooters the Raptors had on the floor. Predictably, those shooters made Orlando pay.

"I thought we had the kind of team, especially defensively, where against most teams, we could make it more difficult on them as the series went on," Clifford said after the season-ending loss. "We were not able to do that (against Toronto), obviously."

The Raptors scored 111.5 points per 100 possessions in the series and posted an offensive rating of 113.7 over the final four games, which was more efficient than how they finished the regular season (112.5). That's quite the feat considering the tightness of playoff defenses generally, and the strength of Orlando's eighth-ranked defense.

Two-way play

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If the Raptors' offense perplexed a capable Magic defense, imagine how Orlando felt on the other end, where the Raptors dominated at every turn.

Toronto's combination of perimeter pressure, length, and switchability proved too much for a Magic team that needed to play and shoot at its peak to hang with the Raptors, especially with Marc Gasol completely eradicating Orlando's No. 1 option, Nikola Vucevic.

Vucevic, who averaged 20.8 points on an effective field goal percentage of 54.9 during the regular season, averaged 11.2 points on an eFG% of 38.8 throughout the five-game series against the Raptors.

"He's obviously big, and he's smart defensively. He knows how to use his body," Vucevic said following Game 5 when asked how Gasol was so successful against him. "He slaps down at the ball a lot. He's really good at that. He gave me trouble all series long. I wasn't really able to get in a rhythm."

The Magic shot 38.8 percent from the field and 29.9 percent from deep, posting an offensive rating of 95.8 points per 100 possessions that was 12.3 points worse than their regular-season mark (108.1). Only the Pacers, a team that entered the playoffs without All-Star Victor Oladipo, suffered a greater drop-off between regular season and postseason offensive success (-13.5).

"For some reason, we weren't quite ready to go (in Game 1). In Game 2, we came out with a defensive effort, sustained over the course of a game, that we hadn't seen from this team," head coach Nick Nurse said of his Raptors after Game 5. "I think the feeling after that game was, 'if we play defense like that from here on out, we should be able to control this series.'"

Kawhi's effortless efficiency

Mark Blinch / National Basketball Association / Getty

With the combination of Leonard's strength, his freakish hands, and his shooting ability, few players make high-usage, high-efficiency scoring look as easy as he does.

There was one fast-break play on Tuesday when he made an underhand catch on a long pass from Lowry, and rather than correcting his grip or taking a dribble, Leonard simply elevated for a dunk. It was the kind of low-key moment of brilliance that's come to define Leonard's excellence.

The 2014 Finals MVP poured in another 27 points - on only 16 possessions - in Game 5, increasing his series averages to 27.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, three assists, and 1.2 steals on 56-54-89 shooting, even after posting a 5-of-19 shooting game.

While we all thought Nurse needed to play Leonard a lot more than the 33 minutes he logged in the Game 1 loss, Kawhi said at the time he believed the Raptors could still win with him used in that minutes range (though the forward also added he was ready to play more). Leonard ended up averaging just over 34 minutes per game over the next four contests.

Orlando's murky future

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There's promising defensive potential in the Magic's core that's built around Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, and perhaps Mo Bamba. But Orlando faces big questions heading into the offseason.

The team desperately needed the offense Vucevic and Terrence Ross provided this season, and while the Magic could use an upgrade at point guard, D.J. Augustin's steady play helped keep them afloat. All three veterans are set to become unrestricted free agents.

Does Orlando keep the band together and risk getting stuck on the treadmill of mediocrity? Or should the club let Vucevic and Co. walk, perhaps taking a short-term step back while allowing Gordon and Isaac to explore their offensive capabilities?

Quote of the game

"I'll let Pascal (Siakam) answer that. I'm going to enjoy this win tonight and not worry about the Sixers." - Leonard when asked about the challenges Toronto's second-round opponents present.

Why worry about a team Kawhi has never lost against?

What to watch for

Mark Blinch / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Raptors won three of four games against Philadelphia this season, finished seven games ahead of the 76ers in the standings, and posted much more impressive advanced metrics. But those numbers might not mean much now, as the two teams didn't meet after the deadline-week acquisitions of Gasol and Tobias Harris.

There will be a bevy of star talent to watch in the series, with Leonard's ability to disrupt Ben Simmons and Gasol's post defense against Joel Embiid the key intriguing matchups.

Game 5 takeaways: Raptors rout Magic to cruise into 2nd round
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