On Friday night, a full slate of NBA games included several of the Eastern Conference contenders in action. As NBA championship favorites, the Cleveland Cavaliers took the night off after defeating New York the night before, Boston, Toronto, and Washington were all in action. The three teams currently sit right behind the Cavs in the East standings and looked to try to gain some ground towards the postseason. Here's a look at how these three squads fared in their NBA matchups.

Ibaka makes Toronto debut

In an ESPN doubleheader on Friday night, the Boston Celtics took on the Toronto Raptors in a battle between the No.

2 and No. 4 teams in the East. The game, which could be a preview of a future playoff matchup, included the debut of Toronto's newest acquisition, big man Serge Ibaka. The former Magic and Thunder player had an impressive start for his new team too, finishing with 15 points, seven rebounds, and the block seen below.

The game also featured the league's top-scoring team in the fourth quarter with the Celtics, and the top-scoring fourth quarter player, NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics star finished with just 20 points on the night, despite averaging over 10 in fourth quarter play.

Unfortunately, the Celtics were unable to maintain a lead as the Raptors surged ahead and then managed to knock down big free throws down the stretch.

Another new Raptors star, PJ Tucker showed his aggressive style of play, picking up rebounds or loose balls in the final minutes. Tucker finished with nine points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and the late hustle plays to aid in the team's 107-97 win.

Philadelphia tops Washington

The Washington Wizards have quietly been sitting at the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference. On Friday night, they fell to a plucky young 76ers squad, 120-112. The win came on the same day that news arrived that Sixers rookie Ben Simmons will miss the rest of the seasons due to injury and surgery recovery.

Robert Covington scored 25 points while grabbing 11 rebounds for the Sixers. Dario Saric and Gerald Henderson each added 20 points, with Saric also snagging 11 boards. Rican Holmes also came off the Philly bench to record a double-double of his own with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Bradley Beal had an impressive 40-point performance for the losing side on 15-for-25 shooting. John Wall added 29 points along with 14 assists and eight rebounds, while Marcin Gortat had 11 points and 11 boards. However, the team was unable to contend with a hot-shooting Sixers squad which was 43-of-87 from the field or 49.4 percent.

Eastern Conference standings

After Friday night's action, Cleveland remains atop the East standings with a record of 40-16. The Cavs return to action with a home game on ABC Saturday night against Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls.

With Toronto's win it moved their record to 34-24, keeping them just one game behind the losing Wizards (34-22) for the No. 3 spot. Boston (37-21) remains in second place, four games behind Cleveland.

The No. 5 Atlanta Hawks (32-25) were also in action Friday night, falling 118-90 at home to the Miami Heat. That keeps them 8-1/2 games back of the standings leaders, although Toronto moved two games ahead of them to maintain their hold on the No. 4 spot.

There are about 26 games or so left in the season for teams to make their best cases as Eastern Conference contenders.

While it's unlikely that any of the teams mentioned will take over the top spot, they're still competing for the highest seed possible in the East.

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