NBA: Danny Green jump shot at death lifts Raptors to Eastern Conference lead, Trail Blazers rise to top in West
Winning the dramatic Florida matchup improved the Raptors to 14-4 overall, a league-best 7-2 on the road and one game ahead of Milwaukee atop the East
Danny Green sank a jump shot with half a second remaining on Tuesday to lift the Toronto Raptors over the Orlando Magic 93-91 and into the Eastern Conference lead.
Winning the dramatic Florida matchup improved the Raptors to 14-4 overall, a league-best 7-2 on the road and one game ahead of Milwaukee atop the East. Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 18 points while Pascal Siakam added 15, Spain's Serge Ibaka added 14 and Green finished with 13.
An Ibaka jumper put Toronto ahead 91-89 but the Magic equalised on a dunk with 2.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter by Evan Fournier, who led Orlando with 27 points.
But that only set the stage for Green's last-second heroics.
"I just got a good look and got the shot up. Luckily it went in," Green said. "We wanted to show some character and maturity and somehow find a way to execute. We did that."
The Portland Trail Blazers seized the lead in the Western Conference with a 118-114 victory at New York, improving to 12-5, one game ahead of Memphis and defending champion Golden State.
CJ McCollum scored 31 points and Damian Lillard added 29 points and eight assists to lead the Trail Blazers while Tim Hardaway Jr had a game-high 32 points for the Knicks, who lost their sixth game in a row.
At Miami, Brooklyn's D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points to lead six Nets scorers in double figures in a 104-92 victory over the Heat.
Hassan Whiteside had game highs of 21 points and 23 rebounds in a losing cause.
Wizards beat Clippers
The Washington Wizards, playing without injured center Dwight Howard, rallied from a 24-point first-half deficit with a stunning second-half revival to defeat the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 125-118.
Washington closed the game with a 28-13 run over the final 7:28 to shock the Clippers, Wizards star John Wall shrugging off reports he might be on the trade block to score 30 points with eight assists, two steals and two blocked shots while backcourt partner Bradley Beal added 27.
"It's amazing. All the heart and effort and drive I've had for this team, to hear I might be traded, to hear all those things is kind of funny and frustrating all at the same time," Wall said.
"I just try to stay above all that, doing everything I can to pull it together. It's just about effort. In the second half we played with effort and heart. In the first half we didn't play with any urgency."
Down 20 points in the third quarter, the Wizards saw Jeff Green score 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back 3-pointers and a slam dunk in the crucial closing run.
"We just played harder than them in the second half," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "We showed mental toughness and resiliency and just kept after it. They have to do a better job of finding it in them."
Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 29 points.
Suns series defeat marked the first time in 15 playoff appearances that James - a four-time NBA champion - was eliminated in the first round.
A brief statement from the Pelicans said Van Gundy's departure had been made my "mutual agreement" following a disappointing 31-41 regular season campaign which saw the team finish 11th in the Western Conference.
Durant, who played every minute of the contest, also had 17 rebounds and 10 assists as the Nets seized a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.