2017 Playoffs: Round 2, Game 1 - Raptors 105, Cavs 116
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
both teams pulled their starters with the Cavaliers ahead by 20 with 3:18 remaining. Cleveland led by 12 after a dominant opening quarter. The Raptors were able to get within two in the second quarter, but were unable to ever retake the lead as Cleveland earned a 116-105 Game 1 victory to take a 1-0 series lead.
After spending the weekend talking about being ready for the Cavaliers, the Raptors got off to a rocky start in the first quarter of Game 1. Cleveland shot 52 percent in the quarter, and pieced together two 10-0 runs to lead 30-18 after the first 12 minutes. Toronto struggled offensively, shooting just 33 percent while turning the ball over five times, leading to eight points for the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving had a hot start to lead all scorers with 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting in the first quarter.
ROLLER COASTER SECOND
The second quarter was a roller coaster. A Kyle Lowry + Serge Ibaka + bench lineup reeled off a 19-3 run to trim an 18-point Cavaliers lead down to two before allowing Cleveland to close the half on a 21-9 run. Despite shooting 50 percent and holding the Cavaliers to 37 percent shooting, Toronto was still outscored by Cleveland 32-30 in the quarter to lead 62-48 at the half. Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 16 points and five assists while LeBron James added 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
FADING IN THE THIRD
Though Toronto shot better than Cleveland, (46 percent for the Raptors compared to 44 percent for the Cavs), the Cavaliers outscored the Raptors 34-25 in the third quarter. Thanks to a 12-point quarter from LeBron James — on just five shots —, Cleveland stretched its lead to 23 points heading into the final quarter. Through three quarters, the Raptors had just one fewer made field goal than Cleveland, but the Cavaliers nearly doubled their made 3-point field goals (14-8), while going 22-of-25 at the free throw line compared to Toronto’s 8-for-8 performance at the line.
TOO LATE TO TURN IT AROUND
Toronto opened the fourth strong offensively, but could not get the stops it needed to trim the lead. Norman Powell and P.J. Tucker provided a spark in the fourth, but the Raptors were unable to close the distance and Dwane Casey subbed out his starters with 3:18 remaining and the Cavaliers lead still at 20. With both team’s reserves on the floor to close, Toronto outscored Cleveland 13-4 in the final three minutes of the game to trim the Cavaliers margin of victory to 11 at the final buzzer. LeBron James led all scorers with 35 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, a steal and a blocked shot. Kyrie Irving added 24 points and 10 assists. The Raptors were led by Kyle Lowry’s 20 points and 11 assists while DeMar DeRozan added 19 points.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 20 points and 11 assists in 40 minutes. He shot 7-for-13 from the floor, 2-for-4 from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He added two rebounds and a steal as well.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
P.J. Tucker came off the bench to play 26 minutes. He recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while adding an assist and a blocked shot. Tucker shot 6-for-11 from the floor.
THAT'S A RAP...
“We did not play with the force we needed to tonight. We didn’t get close enough to their shooters to make them feel us. That was the difference in our game, covering the paint, and then getting out [to the shooters]. I don’t think that we played with the type of physicality that we needed to in this game. They were well rested. They were flying around, just about a half step quicker than we were all night. We have to make adjustments as far as how we want to guard the paint and then get out to the three-point line. Offensively, we also want to get cleaner looks.”
- Dwane Casey on Game 1
BY THE #'S
46...Rebounds for the Cavaliers, 43 for the Raptors.
12...Turnovers for Toronto leading to 18 points scored by the Cavaliers. Cleveland also had 12 turnovers, leading to 13 points scored by the Raptors.
44...Percent shooting for Toronto, 46 percent shooting for Cleveland.
14...Made 3-pointers for the Cavaliers who shot 14-for-34 from beyond the arc. The Raptors connected on 10 3-pointers, making 10-of-26 attempts.
THEY SAID IT...
“Everything. It starts defensively. We got some great looks tonight that didn’t fall. We encourage our guys to keep shooting but defensively we let them get going. Once you let them see the basketball go in, it becomes contagious for them. That is what happened tonight.”
- DeMar DeRozan on what needs to change in Game 2
“It seems the same. They get big spurts, and we fight back. We have to find ways to eliminate the spurts. We know that they are going to be a high-flying team that likes to get up and down. But we have to find a way to not let them get going and get the crowd involved. We have to find ways to not let them get into transition, and not have live ball turnovers, because that kills us.”
- Kyle Lowry when asked if the game had similarities to the series against the Cavaliers a season ago
“I’ve seen a lot of playoff games from my previous team and being here last year. I’ve been in a lot of situations like that. You just always have to play until that clock is zero, zero, zero, zero, whatever. You could never get too high or you can never get too low. Sometimes we get lazy. a little lazy. We tend to miss rotations and stuff when we build that cushion. We’ve got to be more disciplined. I was just saying during that timeout, because the scene was a little bit intense, guys looked tight on the bench, I was telling them relax, let’s move the ball, let’s run some plays, let’s do the things that got us up that high in the first place and just try to calm them down.”
- Cory Joseph on the message in a late timeout when the Bucks were ahead 80-78
“There was enough positive things in there, we had, what, 22 assists I think it was; we missed so many open shots, open looks that I know guys can knock down. P.J. Tucker, a couple of inches [back and] his shots are threes, he had what, three or four of those. But defensively the things that we did not do properly, as far as our rotation was concerned, getting close enough to a guy like Korver coming into the game, we know what he’s going to do; J.R. Smith, getting close to him. You’re going to slow James down, you’re not going to stop him but there’s other things we can do in our schemes that we made huge mistakes on in the first half.”
- Dwane Casey on positives to take from the game
The Raptors will take on the Cavaliers in Cleveland for Game 2 on Wednesday at 7 P.M. ET.