NBA Playoffs – Day 16

The First Round comes to a close, and the Raptors exorcise some demons.

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The Bonus took the day off on Saturday, because I got invited to a dinner party, and now I have a pretty good hangover. That’s not enough to stop me from watching the three games on today, two of which are Game 7s. A Game 7 means you have to overcome adversity and give it your all, and that goes for the fans watching the games as well as the players. Before we get to today’s games, let’s review what I missed last night…

San Antonio 124, Oklahoma City 92

Jesus Christ! The first of the Conference Semifinals series got underway with a huge ass whooping. The Thunder getting beat so bad is definitely a surprise, but also a testament to how locked in the Spurs are. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 38 points on 18-23 shooting in just 29 minutes of action. Kawhi Leonard went for 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, and Tony Parker dropped 12 dimes as the Spurs rolled to victory. Serge Ibaka scored 19 to lead the Thunder, and Steven Adams contributed 9 points and 10 rebounds. Hopefully this game was an aberration, and this still becomes the competitive, epic series it should be.

As for today’s games, Game 7 between the Heat and the Hornets leads off the action. This series has gotten good, with each of the past three games going to the wire. They’ll be down in Miami for this one, but each team has won on the other’s home floor, and the Purple Shirt Guy won’t be around to ruin this one, so we should be in for a good game.

Our middle game will be Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Warriors and Trail Blazers. The Warriors will start this series off without MVP Steph Curry, but they didn’t have too much trouble without him in the First Round. Then again, they were going up against the dysfunctional Rockets, and in this round, they’re going up against the scrappy Trail Blazers. The Blazers are fresh off their First Round win over the injured Clippers, and are one of the few teams that can say that they’ve beaten the Warriors during the regular season.

In the nightcap, we have Game 7 between the Raptors and the Pacers. This is a huge game for the Raptors, beyond the usual pressures of a Game 7, they’re dealing with historic pressure. Toronto hasn’t won a Playoff series since 2001, and they’re in danger of falling in the First Round for the third straight season. This is the sort of thing that has a profound effect on their crowd. If the Raptors get off to a lousy start, their already nervous crowd will sense history repeating itself, and all of their energy will disappear.

Game 7s are usually awesome, and we’ve got two of them today. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday…

1:00 pm – We’re down in Miami for Game 7 between the Heat and the Hornets! It’s on ABC, so that means we have to endure Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. You have to be willing to endure some less than ideal situations when you love something like the NBA Playoffs.

1:05 – Nicolas Batum, who has been dealing with an ankle injury all series long, and Spencer Hawes, who missed Game 6 with a strained MCL, will be active today for the Hornets. Heat rookie Josh Richardson, who hurt his shoulder in Game 6, is also available to play today. All hands on deck for Game 7!

1:07 – The Hornets are wearing their lousy sleeved Buzz City jerseys. Every time a team wears a sleeved jersey, it’s a wasted opportunity where they could have worn an awesome throwback.

1:08 – The Heat control the opening tip, and we’re underway! Luol Deng gets the first points of the ball game with a baseline layup as the Heat take a 2-0 lead.

1:10 – Courtney Lee hits a jumper for the Hornets first points of the game, getting them on the board as they trail 4-2.

1:14 – A buzz at the door! Who could it be!? It’s my buddy, and Bonus Social Media Manager, Ian! He’s joining me for this exciting day of Playoff basketball.

1:16 – We have our first time out with the score Miami 15, Charlotte 8 with 5:44 left in the first quarter.

1:24 – We’ve got another time out with the score Miami 19, Charlotte 13 with 2:55 to go in the first quarter. The Heat are already making their presence felt on the boards, out-rebounding the Hornets 14-5 already, including a 6-0 edge on the offensive boards. Charlotte’s going to have to figure this one out, or they’re not going to be winning here this afternoon.

1:33 – The first quarter comes to an end with the score Miami 29, Charlotte 18. The Heat are off to a great start, and things are already starting to look iffy for the Hornets. Still, there’s plenty of game left for them to get it together, but they need to become more competitive on the glass. The Heat are already out-rebounding them 17-7, and 6-0 on the offensive boards, and it’s been the big early story of the game.

1:37 – Marvin Williams knocks down a three for the first points of the second quarter, cutting the hornets deficit to 29-21.

1:41 – Time out with the score Miami 36, Charlotte 28 with 7:54 left until halftime. The Hornets have shown more signs of life here in the second quarter, offensively, anyway. Defensively, they haven’t been able to slow down the Heat.

1:46 – Another time out as the Hornets are starting to chip away after a Courtney Lee steal and jumper makes the score Miami 38, Charlotte 32 with 6:24 left until halftime.

1:53 – Dwyane Wade just passed Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA Playoffs all time scoring list, as this graphic from ESPN points out…

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1:55 – Courtney Lee hits a three, and the Hornets are keeping this one close as the Heat call another time out. The score’s Miami 44, Charlotte 40 with 3:27 left in the first half.

1:58 – Another time out as the Heat have extended their lead with a couple of quick baskets, making the score Miami 48, Charlotte 40 with 2:28 to go until halftime.

2:03 – The first half comes to a close with the score Miami 54, Charlotte 42 after the Heat close out the quarter on a 10-2 run. Goran Dragic has 17 points and 6 rebounds to lead Miami, while Courtney Lee leads Charlotte with 11 points. The Hornets had a couple of runs in the second quarter to cut into Miami’s lead, but each time, the Heat had an answer, and they have a nice double-digit lead here at halftime.

2:08 – It’s time for our first episode of Today in NBA Playoff History! As usual, thanks to the learned persons over at Basketball-Reference for keeping track of these things.

Things aren’t going so well for the Hornets so far today, but back on May 1, 1998, they finished off their First Round series with the Atlanta Hawks with a 91-82 victory for a 3-1 series win back in the best of five days. Anthony Mason (RIP) led Charlotte with 29 points and 14 rebounds. Glen Rice scored 26 points and David Wesley had 13 points, 10 assists and 5 steals. Steve Smith, who we’ve seen color commentating games for TNT these days, led the Hawks with 27, and Dikembe Mutombo had 8 points and 16 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Hornets from closing them out.

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Anthony Mason (1966-2015)

2:21 – Kemba Walker hits a jumper to start off the second half, cutting the Heat lead to 54-44.

2:22 – Goran Dragic lobs one up for Hassan Whiteside who throws it down! The Hornets need a time out with the score Miami 58, Charlotte 44 with 10:53 left in the third quarter.

2:24 – Michael Jordan sighting! The Hornets owner is solemnly watching the game from a suite at the American Airlines Arena as his team’s chances continue to go further and further down the drain.

2:29 – The Hornets need another time out as things are starting to go awry for them after a Joe Johnson three makes the score Miami 65, Charlotte 44 with 7:43 left in the third quarter. The Heat are on an 11-0 run and the Hornets have missed their last eight shots. “It’s not looking good,” says Ian.

2:36 – Goran Dragic gets to the bucket for a layup, and it’s a party at the American Airlines Arena with the score Miami 74, Charlotte 46 with 5:35 left in the third quarter. The Heat have outscored the Hornets 20-4 in the quarter so far and the Charlotte Hornets band has begun playing lively ragtime music in an attempt to quell the panic.

2:40 – Dwyane Wade and Jeremy Lin are talking trash to one another. Come on, Jeremy! Didn’t you see what Wade did to the Purple Shirt Guy in Game 6!?

2:44 – Alonzo Mourning sighting! The Heat legend’s watching the game in the stands, and having a much better time than Michael Jordan is.

2:48 – Joe Johnson gets to the hoop, misses his shot, but gets his own miss and puts it in the hoop, capping off a dominating third quarter for the Heat. The score’s Miami 83, Charlotte 53 after the Heat outscore the Hornets 29-11 in the quarter.

2:54 – Justise Winslow drives along the baseline for a layup, scoring the first points of the fourth quarter to extend the Heat’s lead to 85-53.

2:57 – We have a time out with the score Miami 87, Charlotte 57 with 8:47 left in what’s been a Game 7 ass-whooping.

3:05 – Another time out with the score Miami 91, Charlotte 63 with 5:56 left in the game. We’re just waiting this one out until it’s time for Game 1 between the Warriors and Trail Blazers.

3:13 – We have another time out with the score Miami 101, Charlotte 70 with 2:39 remaining in the ball game. The Hornets Band has accepted their fate, and here comes “Nearer My God To Thee”…

3:19 – This one comes to an end with the score Miami 106, Charlotte 73. Goran Dragic had his best game of the series with 25 points and 6 rebounds. Hassan Whiteside added 10 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks as the Heat took over the game at the end of the first half and never looked back. Frank Kaminsky led the hapless Hornets with 12 points on 3-15 shooting. After his great 37-point Game 6 performance, Kemba Walker had a miserable Game 7 with just 9 points on 3-16 shooting. Once the Heat got rolling, this one was over. It’s easy to forget that the Hornets were down just 44-40 at one point, but they just couldn’t withstand the Heat’s onslaught. With the win, Miami moves on to face the winner of tonight’s Game 7 between the Raptors and the Pacers, while the Hornets season is now over.

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Hopefully tonight’s Game 7 is more exciting than this one was, but first…

3:30 – …we’ve got Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and Trail Blazers! Will the absence of Steph Curry make any sort of a difference in this one, or will the Warriors continue to roll through the Playoffs.

3:36 – We’re in Oakland for Game 1 between the Warriors and Trail Blazers! Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown will narrate the action for us. Blazers star Damian Lillard is from Oakland, so perhaps being in his old stomping grounds will inspire him to have a great game. It’ll also be interesting to see how the Warriors fare without Steph Curry against a more worthy opponent. They would have been fine against the Rockets in the first round with me and Ian on the floor for them, now let’s see how they do against the Blazers.

3:39 – The Warriors win the opening tip and this Western Conference Semifinals series is underway! Klay Thompson kicks things off by hitting a three to give Golden State an early 3-0 advantage.

3:41 – Al-Farouq Aminu gets himself a basket with a baseline layup to put the Blazers on the board. They trail 5-2 early.

3:45 – We have our first time out, after a Klay Thompson layup makes the score Golden State 14, Portland 4 with 7:31 left in the first quarter. The Warriors seem to be fine without Steph so far, and Thompson already has ten points, while the Blazers are 1-8 from the field.

3:54 – The Blazers have woken up a little bit, but they still have quite a bit of work to do with the score Golden State 22, Portland 11 with 3:46 left in the first quarter after an Al-Farouq Aminu jumper finally gets the Blazers into double-digits.

4:02 – The first quarter comes to a close and it’s already a 20 point game. The score’s Golden State 37, Portland 17. Klay Thompson has 18 points for the Warriors, outscoring the Trail Blazers by himself. Golden State’s shooting an even 60% from the field. Meanwhile, the Blazers are shooting just 5-21 (23.8%).

4:07 – CJ McCollum goes in for a layup, scoring the first points of the second quarter, and cutting Portland’s deficit to 37-19.

4:10 – We have a time out as the Blazers have chipped away a little bit with a 6-0 run. It’s Golden State 41, Portland 28 with 8:36 left in the first half.

4:19 – The Blazers have been playing well here in the second quarter, but they’re still facing a big deficit as we have another time out with the score Golden State 46, Portland 33 with 5:33 to go until halftime.

4:29 – After Shawn Livingston gets to the hoop for a layup, we have a time out with the score Golden State 54, Portland 42 with 2:47 remaining in the second quarter. The Blazers continue to cut down the Warriors lead, but can they keep it up, or did they dig themselves too big of a hole in the first quarter?

4:34 – Harrison Barnes hits a three pointer from the corner as the Warriors have their lead back up to 14 after the Blazers had cut it down to nine. It leads to a time out with the score Golden State 63, Portland 49 with 57 seconds left in the first half.

4:37 – We’ve made it to halftime with the score Golden State 65, Portland 51. Klay Thompson has 22 points to lead the Warriors, and Draymond Green is working on a triple-double with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Al-Farouq Aminu leads the Blazers with 12 points, and Damian Lillard 10 points, but is shooting just 2-11. In fact, he and CJ McCollum, the Blazers two highest scorers, are a combined 3-19 from the field. That’s not going to get the job done! It was Portland’s bench that was able to cut into the Warriors lead during the second quarter, but Golden State got their advantage back up to 14.

4:42 – Time for another exciting episode of Today in NBA Playoff History!

Back on May 1, 1990, the Trail Blazers completed a First Round sweep of the Dallas Mavericks with a 106-92 victory in Game 3. Jerome Kersey (RIP) led the Blazers with 29 points and 9 rebounds. Clyde Drexler scored 20 points, dished out 10 assists and came up with 5 steals, while Terry Porter also scored 20 and dropped nine dimes. Buck Williams chipped in with 7 points and 10 rebounds. Lillard and McCollum could use some of that Drexler/Porter backcourt magic right about now. Anyway, Rolando Blackman scored 23 to lead Dallas, Derek Harper added 11 points and 12 assists, and Roy Tarpley (RIP) grabbed 15 rebounds. It’s been a good day of remembrance for recently fallen former NBA players of the 90s, and that’s one of the things Today in NBA Playoff History is all about.

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Jerome Kersey (1962-2015)

4:55 – Andrew Bogut hits a floater in the paint and the Warriors score first in the third quarter to extend their lead to 67-51.

5:02 – We’re going to have a time out as the Warriors have gotten their lead back up to 20. It’s Golden State 77, Portland 57 with 7:01 left in the third quarter. We’re on Triple Double Watch with Draymond Green, as he’s up to 17 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Blazers star backcourt, are now at a combined 3-22 from the field.

5:09 – Another time out after a three from Draymond Green makes the score Golden State 84, Portland 61 with 4:13 left in the third quarter. Triple Double Watch continues as Green’s up to 20 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.

5:13 – FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

Gerald Henderson and Anderson Varejao are unhappy with each other after they collide, and Henderson sprung right back up and got into Varejao’s face! Looks like he might be upset because he feels like Varejao tripped him after they collided with one another. The refs are now trying to decide if Varejao went out of his way to trip up Henderson.

5:17 – Henderson and Varejao each get called for a technical foul, and play resumes.

5:24 – Gerald Henderson and Anderson Varejao just got ejected! Bonus points because Varejao was on the bench! Henderson was in the corner in front of the Warriors bench, and the two started mouthing off to one another, and the refs weren’t trying to have it! Henderson walks off solemnly, but Varejao riles up the fans on his way back to the locker room. Awesome.

5:25 – We’ve made it to the end of the third quarter with the score Golden State 93, Portland 73. Draymond Green’s an assist away from a triple double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum’s shooting woes have continued, and they’re now at 5-27 combined.

5:29 – Marrese Speights hits a jumper to start off the fourth quarter, extending the Warriors lead to 95-73.

5:32 – Speights gets a layup, and it leads to a time out with the score Golden State 99, Portland 78 with 10:32 left in the game.

5:40 – Another time out with the score Golden State 103, Portland 86 with 7:43 left in the game. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have shown signs of life, but it’s much too late, and they’re still a yucky 8-32 combined from the floor.

5:47 – Ed Davis has fouled out for the Blazers. He finishes with 11 points and 8 rebounds off the bench, and was one of a few Portland bench players that put in a good effort this afternoon.

5:49 – Another time out with the score Golden State 106, Portland 91 with 4:22 left in the game. The Blazers have actually outscored the Warriors, 74-69 after the first quarter, but that hasn’t been enough to drag themselves out from under the deficit they faced after the opening barrage from Golden State.

5:54 – Shawn Livingston hits a jumper, off of a Draymond Green assist, giving him a triple double! Draymond’s up to 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

5:58 – We have what should be one last time out with the score Golden State 116, Portland 101 with 1:13 left in the game.

6:01 – This one comes to an end with a final score of Golden State 118, Portland 106. Klay Thompson led the Warriors with a Playoff career high of 37 points to go with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Draymond Green had the big triple double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut each finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Damian Lillard finished with 30 points after a big fourth quarter, but he shot just 8-26 from the field. He also passed out five assists. Mason Plumlee ended up with 13 rebounds and 6 assists, but scored just one point. After the first quarter, the Blazers outscored the Warriors, 89-81, getting a particularly lively effort from their bench. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome the first quarter, and they find themselves down 1-0 at the start of this series.

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For once, the next game isn’t starting right after this one. In fact, we’ve got about two hours to breathe, eat dinner and try and collect ourselves after a fairly unfortunate afternoon of basketball. Hopefully the Raptors/Pacers game lives up to the hype of a Game 7…

8:00 – All right! It’s just about time for Game 7 between the Raptors and the Pacers! Can the Raptors shake off their unfortunate Playoff history and win their first series since 2001, or are the Pacers poised to upset them?

8:04 – We get a look in on the Air Canada Centre, and Kyle Lowry is on the bench with his little kid, and Charles Barkley is perturbed. He doesn’t think kids should be missing around on the bench before a big Game 7! “I’m not confident in my Raptors pick,” says a disappointed Chuck.

8:08 – We’re live in Toronto for the final game of the First Round, Game 7 between the Raptors and the Pacers! The winner of this game will take on the Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Ian Eagle and Brent Barry will narrate the action, and they start off by telling us that you can feel the nervousness surrounding this game up in Toronto.

8:11 – The Raptors take the opening tip and Game 7 is underway up north in Canada. DeMar DeRozan gets into the paint and hits a one-handed shot for the first points of the game, giving the Raptors an early 2-0 lead.

8:13 – Paul George cans a three for the Pacers first points, and they trail early, 4-3.

8:19 – We have our first time out, as both teams are off to good starts. It’s Toronto 18, Indiana 15 with 6:18 left in the first quarter. Hopefully this good start is a sign of things to come. We could use a good one after this afternoon’s games.

8:28 – Another time out with the score Toronto 24, Indiana 23 with 2:14 left in the first quarter. Paul George and DeMar DeRozan are getting it done so far, with George scoring 12 for the Pacers, and DeRozan pouring in 11 for the Raptors.

8:34 – A delightful first quarter comes to an end with the score Toronto 28, Indiana 23. DeMar DeRozan has 13 points, and Paul George has 12 after what’s been a well played opening quarter. Everyone seems excited at the potential of getting to watch a good game here tonight.

8:38 – Rodney Stuckey hits a jumper for Indiana, and they get the first points of the second quarter, cutting the Raptors lead to 28-25.

8:42 – We got a time out with the score Toronto 36, Indiana 32 with 9:11 left in the first half after a three pointer from rookie Norman Powell.

8:51 – We’ve got a time out as the Raptors continue to maintain their lead, and after a Kyle Lowry layup, it’s Toronto 40, Indiana 34 with 5:22 left until halftime. The Pacers aren’t too far behind, however, and I’m sure they’ll have a lot to say before all is said and done.

8:57 – Another time out as this game remains close with the score Toronto 42, Indiana 38 with 3:35 left in the first half.

9:07 – We’ve made it to halftime with the score Toronto 50, Indiana 44. DeMar DeRozan leads the Raptors with 15 points, rookie Norman Powell has come off the bench for ten, and Jonas Valanciunas has 10 points and 7 rebounds. Paul Geroge has been getting the job done for the Pacers, with 17 points. The Raptors have been able to hold off the Pacers so far, but will that Game 7 nervousness creep in as the game goes down the stretch?

9:10 – Time for one last episode of Today in NBA Playoff History.

Back on May 1, 1987, the Atlanta Hawks eliminated the Pacers with a 101-97 victory in Game 4 of the First Round, winning the series, 3-1. Dominique Wilkins went for 30 points and 9 rebounds, Randy Wittman went for 20 and Antoine Carr came off the bench for 20 points and 5 rebounds. Doc Rivers finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 15 assists to help pace the Hawks to the win. Chuck Person did all he could for the Pacers, scoring 40 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists. Vern Fleming contributed with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists, but the Pacers fell short.

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Are we in for a similar finish tonight? We’ll find out over the next hour or so…

9:26 – After a slow start to the second half by both teams, Patrick Patterson nails a three for the first points since halftime, extending the Raptors lead to 53-44.

9:28 – DeMarre Carrol knocks down a corner three, and the Pacers need a time out with the score Toronto 58, Indiana 46 with 8:17 left in the third quarter. The Raptors have started the second half well, and the Pacers will try to stop the bleeding before it’s too late.

9:32 – Drake sighting! He’s amped up after a Patrick Patterson three increases the Raptors lead to 61-46.

9:34 – Solomon Hill works his way through the paint for a layup, and the Pacers are suddenly on a 7-0 run, causing the Raptors to call a time out. It’s Toronto 61, Indiana 53 with 6:05 left in the third quarter.

9:42 – DeMar DeRozan hits a jumper, and the Raptors are now on an 8-0 run after the Pacers looked like they were about to make this one interesting. Instead, the score’s Toronto 71, Indiana 57 with 3:44 left in the third quarter.

9:46 – Marcus Stroman and Jose Bautista sightings! The Toronto Blue Jays players are here to support their neighbors, and they’re liking what they see after a pair of DeMar DeRozan free throws has the Raptors lead up to 77-62.

9:51 – The third quarter comes to an end with the score Toronto 78, Indiana 64. Things are looking good for the Raptors to win their first Playoff series since 2001, but the Pacers could still make things interesting if they put together a good run to start off the fourth.

9:57 – George Hill knocks down a three, scoring the first points of the fourth and cutting the Raptors lead to 78-67.

10:00 – We have a time out as both teams are cold to start off the fourth. It’s still Toronto 78, Indiana 67 with 8:59 left in this one.

10:04 – Another time out, and the score still hasn’t changed as it still sits at Toronto 78, Indiana 67 with 8:30 remaining.

10:09 – Larry Bird sighting! The Pacers GM is in the stands and not enjoying himself as we’ve got another time out with the score Toronto 83, Indiana 67 with 7:31 to go.

10:18 – Paul George gets a steal and goes in for a layup on DeMar DeRozan. The ball goes through the hoop as both players hit the floor, but the refs call an offensive foul! It’ll be no basket for George, as the Raptors take the ball and call time out with the score Toronto 85, Indiana 77 with 3:51 left. If that call had gone the other way, and George hit the ensuing free throw, it’d be just a five point game. Nevertheless, the Pacers are on a 10-2 run as they try to get back into this one.

10:21 – Monta Ellis cans a three, and the Raptors lead is all the way down to 85-82! It’s a 15-2 run for the Pacers as the Pacers suddenly have a chance to steal Game 7!

10:22 – Kyle Lowry gets to the hoop for a layup, getting the Raptors lead up to 87-82.

10:23 – We’ve got a time out with the score still Toronto 87, Indiana 82 with 1:49 remaining. The Raptors will have the ball when we come back as they try to close this one out.

10:27 – Paul George knocks down a pair of free throws, and the Pacers are down 87-84 with under a minute left in the game. George has 26 points.

10:28 – After DeMar DeRozan misses a three, the Pacers secure the rebound and call a time out with just 26.9 seconds left and the score Toronto 87, Indiana 84. The pacers are on a 17-4 run.

10:29 – Paul George gets into the paint and tries to lob up a pass to Ian Mahinmi, and it goes awry! DeMar DeRozan grabs the rebound, and the Pacers take a long time to foul him until they get him with fouled with 6.5 on the clock. He’ll go to the line for the potential series clinching free throws. Meanwhile, George wanted a foul call on the lob, and he has a legitimate case, but he’s not going to get it.

10:30 – DeRozan hits the first free throw…and knocks down the second! It’s Toronto 89, Indiana 84 with 6.5 seconds on the clock! Indiana takes a time out.

10:33 – Paul George misses a three, and the Raptors grab the rebound! Kyle Lowry chucks it down the court as time expires, and Toronto has won their first Playoff series since 2001, and their first seven game series ever, with an 89-84 victory!

Whew, once again, the Raptors escape with a Game 7 victory. The final score: Toronto 89, Indiana 84. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 32 points and 5 rebounds, although he shot a pretty yucky 10-32 from the field. Jonas Valanciunas contributed 10 points and 15 rebounds. For the Pacers, Paul George finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, but the Pacers fell short as they weren’t able to overtake the Raptors, despite a fourth quarter comeback.

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Despite Charles Barkley’s fears, Kyle Lowry’s son did not ruin Game 7 for the Raptors.

Next up for the Raptors, a Conference Semifinals series against the Miami Heat, who won their Game 7 earlier today. All through the First Round, Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan struggled. The team overcame it, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to get away with it against the Heat in the next round. Lowry and DeRozan will need to step up and return to their regular form, or Miami will make quick work of Toronto. On the plus side, the Raptors now have a great weight lifted from their shoulders, having finally won a series. Hopefully this allows them to play freer and looser in the second round, now that the pressure of having to actually win a series is gone.

That does it for the First Round of the Playoffs! It got off to a bit of a lousy start, but rebounded a bit with half of the series making it to at least six games. We’ve seen better for sure, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was looking after the first few games. Anyway, that’s all behind us now, because we’re off to the Conference Semifinals.

Author: tomeagher

Watching too much basketball.

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