2017 Playoffs: Round 2, Game 1 - Raptors 103, Cavs 125
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
DeMar DeRozan left the game with the Cavaliers ahead by 27 and 6:45 remaining in the game. It was a rough night for DeRozan and the Raptors as Cleveland led by 12 after the opening quarter and never trailed again en route to picking up a 125-103 Game 2 win. Cleveland now has a 2-0 series lead with the series shifting to Toronto for Game 3 on Friday.
STARTING FIVE SWITCH-UP
Shortly before game time the Raptors starting lineup was revealed and head coach Dwane Casey decided to switch things up. Like Toronto’s first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Casey decided to insert Norman Powell into the starting lineup in place of Jonas Valanciunas, but he also elected to make another adjustment, starting Patrick Patterson in place of DeMarre Carroll. Powell and Carroll joined Serge Ibaka, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
LOWRY INJURES ANKLE
Kyle Lowry briefly left the game after suffering a sprained ankle 27 seconds into the third quarter. After going to the locker room with trainers, Lowry returned to the floor and remained in the game until the 2:40 mark of the third when he exited for good and the team announced that he would not return because of the left ankle sprain. After the game Lowry spoke with the media and acknowledged that the ankle is "pretty sore" but that he planned to get treatment and get ready for Game 3 on Friday.
CAVS ON FIRE
The Cavaliers started Game 2 even stronger than Game 1. Though Jonas Valanciunas came off the bench to lead the Raptors with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting, the Raptors could not contain Cleveland at all, allowing the Cavaliers to shoot 71 percent in the opening quarter. Making things worse for Toronto, Cleveland was perfect from beyond the arc, making all five of their 3-point attempts, as well as 5-of-6 free throws while the Raptors were 2-of-5 from beyond the arc and didn’t attempt a free throw in the quarter. After the first 12 minutes, the Cavaliers led 34-22.
STEPPING UP THE DEFENCE
Toronto’s defence was better in the second quarter. After giving up a 71 percent shooting performance to the Cavaliers in the first, Toronto held Cleveland to 48 percent shooting in the second, while shooting 52 percent, thanks in large part to a perfect 4-for-4 field goals from Jonas Valanciunas. Despite shooting a better percentage, the Cavaliers still won the quarter, 28-26 to stretch their halftime lead to 14, the same gap at halftime of Game 1 on Monday night. Valanciunas led the Raptors with 19 points in 13 minutes on 9-for-10 shooting while Lowry added 15 points and four assists. LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 19 points on 6-for-9 field goals while Channing Fry added 10 points off the bench.
The Cavaliers had their highest-scoring quarter of the game, exploding for 37 points in the third. Things went from bad to worse for Toronto when Kyle Lowry injured his ankle at the 11:33 mark of the quarter. Though he left the court and went to the locker room immediately, he would return to the floor and play until the 2:40 mark of the third, when he was taken out and the team announced that he would not return. Cleveland shot 53 percent while holding Toronto to 41 percent shooting in the third as they outscored the Raptors 37-25 en route to taking a 99-73 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Toronto was scoreless from beyond the arc in the quarter, while the Cavaliers hit 4-of-8 attempts from deep. LeBron James scored 17 points in the third on five field goal attempts, while Kyrie Irving added 15 points. Toronto was led by Serge Ibaka’s 10 points.
UNABLE TO COME BACK
With a 26-point deficit to start the fourth, the Raptors were unable to make a late comeback. The fourth was the only quarter where Toronto outscored Cleveland as well as being the only quarter where the Raptors reached 30 points. Toronto outscored Cleveland 30-26 in the fourth, but Cleveland’s lead swelled to as many as 30 before Toronto started putting in its reserves. Kyle Lowry did not play in the fourth because of the ankle sprain sustained in the third quarter, and Toronto’s bench played heavy minutes in the quarter. Similarly, LeBron James played half of the fourth, but was the only Cavaliers starter to be on the floor.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors with 23 points off the bench. He played 20 minutes, shooting 10-for-13 from the floor, including 3-for-5 from the free throw line. Valanciunas also added five rebounds.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cory Joseph came off the bench to play 24 minutes. He scored 18 points on 8-of-14 field goals, including 2-of-3 3-point field goals. Joseph added six rebounds, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot when he was on the floor.
THAT'S A RAP...
“Yep, last year. Same exact moment. It seems identical. We got our butts spanked. We came in at home and we were a different team. That’s something that’s encouraging. We know we can do it. We haven’t played well at all, at all, collectively on either end. That’s a positive for us going back home, to our home court, and try to make something happen.”
- DeMar DeRozan on being in the same situation as a season ago heading back to Toronto
BY THE #'S
55...Percent shooting for Cleveland, 47 percent shooting for Toronto.
8...Made 3-pointers for the Cavaliers (18-of-33) compared to just five for Toronto (5-for-17). Toronto finished with one more made field goal than Cleveland (42 for Toronto, 41 for Cleveland), but the Cavaliers had an 18-5 advantage from the 3-point line while also making 11 more free throws.
74...Percent shooting from the line for both teams, but the Cavaliers were 25-for-34 while the Raptors were 14-for-19.
39...Points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals, two blocked shots for LeBron James on 10-of-14 field goals, including 4-for-6 3-point field goals and 15-for-21 free throws.
THEY SAID IT...
“They did what they were supposed to do on their home floor, we've got to go home and protect our home floor. For us to win the series, yeah, we've got to win one here, but right now we have to focus on Game 3, going back home, protecting home court. Last year is last year, that doesn't matter. But this year we have to go there, protect home court, and take it game by game, possession by possession. Right now they're out to a 2-0 lead, but we've got to go home and try to flip the script on them.”
- Kyle Lowry on the series shifting to Toronto
“It sucks. It sucks. To lose like we did, to play like I did, it sucks. It’s frustrating, Now just having time, having to wait until Friday night to redeem yourself.”
- DeMar DeRozan on the mood after a frustrating loss and performance
“We should be embarrassed, angry, pissed off, mad. We’re in the same situation we were in last year, now what are we going to do about it? We’ve been talking about it for a week. We’ll go back and watch the film and try to find solutions, but until we play at the level of taking away the three, the paint, getting out and rotating quicker…and offensively, we’ve got to be able to score. We only had 17 3-point attempts and we need more than that.”
- Dwane Casey on the emotions of the team
The series will shift to Toronto for Game 3 on the Air Canada Centre floor on Friday at 7 P.M. ET.