LeBron James and a Cavaliers continue their walk behind to a NBA Finals, winning Game 1 in Toronto. Meanwhile, Golden State looks to continue a dominant strain during home in these playoffs in Game 2 opposite a Pelicans. Follow along here for a latest research and explanation from The Post’s NBA contributor Tim Bontemps, and ask him questions in a comments section. Catch adult on yesterday’s games here.
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• The Raptors had to win Game 1 to put their playoff demons to rest. Instead, they blew a late lead and afterwards mislaid in overtime.
The Cleveland Cavaliers managed to do something no LeBron James organisation had ever finished Tuesday night.
Cleveland’s 113-112 feat over Toronto in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal array was a initial time in 138 career playoff games for James that his organisation managed to win nonetheless ever streamer in regulation, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
It also was usually a second time in a final 20 years a organisation had won that way. The first? Game 4 of a Western Conference finals in 2011, when Dirk Nowitzki scored 40 points to lift a Dallas Mavericks to a 112-105 overtime feat over a Oklahoma City Thunder and take a 3-1 lead in that series.
Ironically, that win helped lift Dallas past Oklahoma City — and to a NBA Finals, where a Mavericks would kick James, afterwards with a Miami Heat, in 6 games to win a title.
This is a initial diversion of LeBron James’ playoff career where his organisation got a win notwithstanding never streamer during regulation.
The Cavaliers are a second organisation in a final 20 postseasons to win a diversion notwithstanding never streamer in law (also Mavericks during Thunder on May 23, 2011).
— ESPN Stats Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 2, 2018
Maybe Stephen Curry should have started after all.
After Warriors Coach Steve Kerr done a peculiar preference not to start Curry in Game 2 of Golden State’s array opposite a New Orleans Pelicans, a two-time NBA many profitable actor done his opening to a noisy bark with 4:20 to go in a initial quarter, and with a Warriors trailing 19-11.
Curry, of course, soon strike a three.
Golden State proceeded to measure 16 points over a final mins of a first — with Curry scoring 8 of them. His lapse brought a sellout throng here during Oracle Arena to a feet, and his sharpened opening done it serenade a favorite son.
By early in a second quarter, a Warriors had come all a approach behind into a game, holding a 40-38 lead on a Klay Thompson jumper, and this diversion felt like it was melancholy to get divided from a Pelicans.
They still lost.
In a diversion Toronto positively had to win to infer it was past a prior playoff foibles, a Raptors did accurately what they could not: totally implode in a final minutes. The outcome was a Cleveland Cavaliers rising with a 113-112 feat in what will turn a latest territory in an ever-growing book of nauseous Raptors losses.
After not scoring a singular basket over a final 4:19 of regulation — blank 11 true shots, including 4 inside a final 10 seconds that would have given Toronto a lead — a Raptors still wound adult with a round again with 16 seconds to go in overtime, and with it a possibility to deliver a win out of a diversion Toronto tranquil a immeasurable infancy of.
But usually as he did during a finish of regulation, Fred VanVleet missed an open 3 pointer, and Cleveland cumulative a miscarry to come divided with a win.
This is a diversion that’s going to prick for a prolonged time in Toronto. Cleveland usually finished a heartless seven-game first-round array opposite a Indiana Pacers on Sunday, while Toronto had 4 days to rest given violence a Washington Wizards on Friday. And, after spending months operative to secure home justice in this series, Toronto finally could start out a matchup with Cleveland in a accessible proportions of Air Canada Centre.
All of that usually adds adult to make this detriment all a some-more unpleasant for a Raptors organisation that simply had to have — and now will have to spend dual days meditative about how it blew it.
LeBron James finished with a triple-double — 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists — to lead Cleveland, notwithstanding sharpened usually 12-for-30 from a floor. Meanwhile, Cleveland went 14 for 35 on three-pointers — including 13 for 27 after stealing James’ 1-for-8 showing.
Toronto got 22 points from DeMar DeRozan and 18 and 10 assists from Kyle Lowry — nonetheless 19 of those points from Toronto’s backcourt came in a initial quarter, when a Raptors raced out to a 33-19 lead. Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 21 rebounds, nonetheless went usually 7 for 19 from a floor, with all nonetheless one of those shots entrance in a paint, and all nonetheless one of those outward a evident closeness of a basket.
Stephen Curry — surprisingly — is entrance off a dais for Golden State.
Despite not being on a mins limit, Curry is starting Game 2 on a dais for a Warriors in their Western Conference semifinal opposite a New Orleans Pelicans, as Steve Kerr opted to hang with a same starting lineup he had in Game 1 – Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Nick Young.
Curry had been approaching to start, nonetheless after watchful until a final probable second to exhibit his starting lineup – about 15 mins before tip – Warriors Coach Steve Kerr had Young in it instead.
The Toronto Raptors should have won this diversion going away.
Instead, Game 1 of their second-round array is going to overtime.
The Raptors have missed 11 true shots over a final four-plus mins of regulation — including 4 in a final 10 seconds that could’ve given them a lead — to give Cleveland a chance, and a Cavaliers took advantage with LeBron James creation a fallaway jumper with 30 seconds left to tie a diversion during 105.
All of a movement has to be in Cleveland’s dilemma right now, as a Raptors looked impossibly parsimonious down a finish of regulation.
As this diversion ticks into a final few minutes, a Cavaliers have left to a lineup that started Game 7: LeBron James during indicate safeguard subsequent to J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson.
The doubt remains: Why didn’t Tyronn Lue use this lineup to start a game? George Hill has mostly been ineffectual in this game, and this is Cleveland’s best lineup in this series, as it allows them to have someone to crash on Jonas Valanciunas and still has lots of sharpened on a court.
Cleveland has been behind probably this whole game. We’ll see if this organisation can get a Cavs over a tip in a final minutes.
Cleveland is going to have a preference to make down a stretch.
Kevin Love came behind in early in a fourth entertain and done a integrate of discerning shots to, once again, get a Cavaliers behind to within 5 points. But when he’s been matched adult with Jonas Valanciunas during this game, he’s gotten beasted inside repeatedly.
Tristan Thompson has once again played good for a Cavaliers in a paint, and has a heft to physique adult a Lithuanian large male down low. If this diversion is tighten in a final minutes, Cavaliers Coach Tyronn Lue could have to select that of his large organisation will be on a court. So distant in this game, Thompson is a one who has warranted a time.
Stephen Curry is prepared to make his lapse …
The third entertain was a drum coaster for a Cleveland Cavaliers.
But as a diversion shifts to a fourth quarter, Cleveland usually trails by five — and after LeBron James got a breather during a finish of a quarter, as he did during a finish of a first.
That, in a end, feels like a win for a Cavaliers, who now will get James entrance behind for a whole fourth entertain carrying gotten 6 mins of rest in this diversion – some-more than many of a games in a final array opposite a Indiana Pacers.
After Jeff Green kept Cleveland in a diversion early, Kyle Korver kept them in a diversion in a third, and now has 16 points in a diversion on 4-for-8 sharpened from three. If a Cavaliers are going to win this game, nonetheless – and put a dagger in a Raptors in a routine – they’ll need James to have his standard outrageous tighten to finish this off.
With Kyrie Irving gone, Kevin Love is ostensible to be a Cleveland Cavaliers’ second star behind LeBron James.
So distant in this game, he’s been removing broken by a Toronto Raptors instead.
Love is now 1 for 8 — including 0 for 3 from 3 — and is removing beasted on a play and in a paint time and again by Toronto whenever he is out there. For a game, Love is now minus-18 in a diversion Toronto leads by 11.
Given his struggles, and how good Cleveland played when Jeff Green was handling as a team’s core in a super-small lineup in a final mins of a initial half, there competence be a need to cruise going in that instruction relocating brazen to try to lift Jonas Valanciunas and a other Raptors bigs out of a paint to life some-more formidable for Toronto.
Remember a tiny while ago, when all was going good for a Toronto Raptors?
Yeah, about that …
The second entertain of Game 1 of a Eastern Conference semifinal array between a Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers was a sign of since Cleveland had so many people picking a Cavaliers to kick a Raptors notwithstanding their heartless display opposite a Indiana Pacers and Toronto being both a tip seed and carrying home court.
Toronto leads 60-57 during halftime, nonetheless all of a movement is in Cleveland’s dilemma after a Cavaliers outscored a Raptors 38-27 in a second quarter, going 5-for-9 from three-point operation and steamrolling behind into a diversion as a Raptors unsuccessful to lift over their clever start.
The Raptors seemed vigilant on branch LeBron James into a distributor. While he did lead Cleveland with 8 shots, 3 other players had during slightest 6 and 3 others had during slightest four.
Instead of that withdrawal Cleveland adrift, however, it authorised probably everybody to get in on a act in a initial half, as a Cavaliers had all 9 players who took a justice measure in a initial half, including J.R. Smith going for 14 points — including 3 three-pointers — while Jeff Green was a ideal 4 for 4 from a margin and a tainted line to measure 13 points.
James, meanwhile, had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, one steal, one retard and — many importantly — usually one turnover. Not bad.
Toronto didn’t play badly in a initial half, either. Kyle Lowry had 10 points and 6 assists, while DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 15 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 6 points and 11 rebounds.
But this is a diversion Toronto has to win — for a accumulation of reasons — and it had a possibility to put it divided after holding a 14-point lead after a initial quarter. What did a Raptors do with it? Give it right behind in a second.
It’s been a dream start for a Toronto Raptors.
For a organisation that has so most disastrous playoff story — quite opposite LeBron James and a Cleveland Cavaliers — finale a initial entertain with a 16-5 fun and holding a 33-19 lead is accurately what Toronto indispensable to do.
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have total to compare Cleveland’s scoring so far, while LeBron James sat a final 3:30 of a initial quarter, in a change to Cleveland’s rotation.
The meditative there presumably is to have James play a whole second entertain to lessen some of a potential of Toronto’s glorious second unit. But a Cavaliers got outscored by 5 with James on a bench, and he’ll lapse down 14.
The time for excuses for a Toronto Raptors is over.
Everything is operative in their preference streamer into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal opposite a Cleveland Cavaliers. They are healthy. They are rested. They are a tip seed in a East. They have homecourt advantage. They have implemented a character of play privately to attain in these moments, after years of failure.
And yet, here they are, during a start of a array where few seem to consider a Raptors can indeed lift this off. Why? Because of a participation of LeBron James and a past of a Raptors.
This, once and for all, is a possibility for this organisation to make a low playoff run it has spent a past few years forgetful of. The Cavaliers are a walking M.A.S.H. unit, and James had to spend a kind of appetite he routinely does in a NBA Finals usually to allege past a Indiana Pacers in 7 games — a array that finished about 50 hours ago.
Toronto needs to come out in Game 1 and get a victory, environment a tinge for what’s to come and not permitting doubt to set in — from a fan bottom to a front bureau to a players and coaches themselves — that this isn’t going to be their year.
A detriment tonight, with all tipping in Toronto’s favor, would usually strengthen those doubts — not to discuss remove a homecourt advantage a Raptors spent 6 months operative their tails off to get. And all of a speak about how James has totally dominated this Toronto organisation will all come flooding behind with it.
That’s what is during interest for Toronto tonight. We’ll see if a Raptors can — finally — entirely live adult to a moment.
The Golden State Warriors reliable Tuesday afternoon that Stephen Curry would make his return from a sprained MCL in his left knee after some-more than 5 weeks in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal array opposite a New Orleans Pelicans.
But that doesn’t meant all of a questions about Curry’s lapse have been answered.
For starters: Will Curry start? The final time he came behind from damage during a postseason — Game 3 of this same theatre of a playoffs opposite a Portland Trail Blazers dual years ago — he came off a bench. This time, however, it would seem expected that he will be in a starting lineup.
Why? Two reasons. First, Warriors Coach Steve Kerr started Nick Young on Saturday in Game 1 of this array (a diversion Golden State won by 21 points nonetheless Curry, remember). It would seem doubtful a Warriors would go out of their approach to start tiny in that game, meaningful Curry was roughly certain to lapse in Game 2, nonetheless formulation to have him reinstate Young tonight.
Second, Kerr pronounced during his post-practice media event Monday that Curry won’t have any mins restrictions when he returns. One reason to have Curry play would be to safeguard he didn’t get overextended from a mins standpoint. If that’s not an issue, afterwards since not start with your best lineup?
So design Curry to play, and design him to play a good array of minutes. That will make an already tough charge for a Pelicans to make a array of this even some-more so. Game 1 saw Golden State close in on Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday, shutting down both of them and withdrawal Anthony Davis to have to try to outscore a Warriors by himself.
Davis is personification as good as anyone in a playoffs right now. But no one can outscore a Warriors by themselves. It was already critical for New Orleans to get some-more from Holiday and Mirotic in Game 2. Now that Curry’s back, it’s their usually possibility of being competitive.
- Cleveland Cavaliers during Toronto Raptors, 8 p.m., TNT (series tied 0-0)
- New Orleans Pelicans during Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m., TNT (Warriors lead 1-0)
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