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Raptors beat Cleveland for ninth straight win

The Toronto Raptors stretched their winning streak to nine games with a 115-109 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, strengthening their grip on second spot in the Eastern Conference.

Serge Ibaka scored 26 points and Kyle Lowry got 23 for the Raptors, but it was Norman Powell who made the difference at the end, scoring eight consecutive points in the final minute after Cleveland cut Toronto’s lead to just one point.

Powell got a three-pointer, scored on a lay-up after making a steal and made three foul shots to seal the win.

Cleveland have now lost nine of their last 10 games and nine straight at home.

Before Boston’s first home game after the death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash last Sunday, his number 24 was illuminated in lights on the court as 24 seconds of silence were observed.

It was followed by a video tribute from current and former Celtics, and they secured a 119-104 win over the Golden Stat

Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and Marcus Smart added 21 as the Celtics got their fifth victory in six games.

The Warriors have now lost five straight and remain rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference.

In Los Angeles, the Staples Center hosted its first game since Bryant’s death.

Before the match between the LA Clippers and the Sacramento Kings, All-Star forward Paul George narrated a two-minute video tribute to Bryant, which was followed by 24 seconds of silence.

The Kings were behind by five points at the end of the first quarter, but outpointed the Clippers 36-14 in the second to take a strong lead into half-time.

De’Aaron Fox scored 34 points, Buddy Hield got 19 and Cory Joseph 16 as the Kings went on to win 124-103.

Lou Williams scored 22 points and Montrezl Harrell got 21 for the Clippers, who were without All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard due to a lower back strain.

In the other games, the Washington Wizards beat the Charlotte Hornets 121-107, the Atlanta Hawks won 127-117 over the Philadelphia 76ers and the Utah Jazz lost 106-100 to the Denver Nuggets.

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