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Raptors beat Nets

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NEW YORK—Fighting desperately to get back in the game, the Brooklyn Nets kept going smaller and smaller until they essentially had four perimeter players on the floor.

Good luck stopping Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka with that.

Siakam had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Leonard added 26 points and nine boards and the Toronto Raptors beat the Nets 115-105 last night for their fifth straight victory.

Ibaka finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors (56-23), who need to win their final three games to match last season's franchise record for victories.

Their victory prevented the Milwaukee Bucks from clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

D'Angelo Russell had 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Nets, who fell to 39-40 and missed another chance to improve their playoff situation.

They could have moved ahead of Detroit after the Pistons lost to Indiana, but instead are now tied for seventh with the Orlando Magic.

Brooklyn has lost four of five.

The Nets had cut the deficit to five early in the third quarter before Siakam made a pair of baskets around Marc Gasol's 3-pointer to make it 66-54. Toronto would get the lead as high as 14 points in the quarter and led 90-78 entering the fourth.

Russell tried to jump-start a rally early in the fourth, scoring seven straight Brooklyn points to trim it to 92-87.

He scored 18 in the final period, taking advantage of the space the Nets created with their small lineup. But they got punished on the other end trying to match up with Toronto's versatile forwards, all 6-foot-7 or taller.

Siakam, Ibaka and Kyle Lowry made 3-pointers over a span of 1:40, before two free throws by Ibaka and another by Siakam pushed it back to 108-96 with 3:15 to play.

Russell had one more flurry, making three 3-pointers to cut it to 110-105 with 1:24 left. But Ibaka scored on a follow shot and the Nets couldn't get anything else to fall.

In other NBA action yesterday, the Pacers pounded the Pistons 108-89; the Magic beat the Knicks 114-100; the Bulls edged the Wizards 115-114; the Hawks downed the 76ers 130-122; the Celtics beat the Heat 112-102; the Hornets stung the Pelicans 115-109; the T-Wolves edged the Mavericks 110-108; the Nuggets beat the Spurs 113-85; the Jazz shaded the Suns 118-97, the Trail Blazers burned the Grizzlies 116-89; and the Rockets blasted the Clippers 135-103.

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