NBA Playoffs – Day 18

A half court buzzer beater? A big fourth quarter comeback!?


Have you recovered from that wild finish last night? The NBA admitted that they missed a whopping five calls on that final play, but hey, when things are happening that quickly and wildly, how the hell can you be expected to get things totally perfectly? Let’s just be  happy that these Playoffs are starting to get more and more interesting, a trend that will hopefully continue on tonight!

Starting off the action this evening, Game 1 between the Raptors and Heat. Both of these teams survived seven game First Round series, and are looking to keep their momentum going. For the Raptors, it’s the first time since 2001 that they’ve even been in the Second Round, and hopefully they’ll be able to play a little more loosely now that they’ve got the First Round monkey off their back. Meanwhile, the Heat have gelled quite well as a team, and they’ll be looking to continue their hot play here in the Second Round.

In the late game, we’ve got Game 2 between the Warriors and the Trail Blazers. Golden State’s still without Steph Curry, but that hasn’t been a problem for them so far. In Game 1, they were able to contain the Trail Blazers star backcourt, en route to an easy win. They’ll be looking for more of the same, while the Blazers will attempt to rebound to tie the series.

8:00 pm – It’s time for another evening of the National Basketball Association Playoffs on Turner Network Television. We go straight to Toronto for Game 1 between the Raptors and Heat. Our narrators, Ian Eagle and Brent Barry welcome us to the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors are going with a new starting lineup, with rookie Norman Powell joining the starting five, in favor of Patrick Patterson.

8:02 – The Raptors control the opening tip, and we’re underway up in Toronto!

8:03 – DeMar Derozan hits a jumper for the first points of the game, putting the Raptors up, 2-0.

8:05 – Dwyane Wade knocks down a jumper for Miami’s first points, and they trail 4-2.

8:11 – We have our first time out as the Heat have missed their last five shots. Our score’s Toronto 8, Miami 4 with 6:46 left in the first quarter. The Heat are shooting just 2-9, but the Raptors aren’t doing much better, shooting 3-9 to start the game.

8:15 – We have another time out, and not much has changed. It’s Toronto 10, Miami 4 with 6:01 remaining in the opening quarter.

8:17 – Oh dear. Hassan Whiteside slips in front of Jonas Valanciunas, and he goes down clutching his right knee. Before we go to a commercial, he’s seen staggering off towards the Heat bench. The good news is, he was walking on his own, the bad news is, he was definitely not moving correctly. We’ll see how he is when we return from this time out with the score Toronto 12, Miami 6 with 4:54 left in the first quarter.

8:20 – We’re back and Hassan Whiteside has gone to the locker room. Veteran Amare Stoudamire replaces him in the lineup. Hopefully Whiteside is okay. It’d be a big blow to Miami if they had to carry on without him.

8:23 – Whiteside has returned to Miami’s bench, but is still grabbing that knee of his.

8:27 – We’ve reached the end of the first quarter with the score Toronto 18, Miami 18. Jonas Valanciunas has ten points for the Raptors already, and DeMar DeRozan has eight as they’ve combined for all of Toronto’s points. It looks like we could be in for a grimy battle tonight if this first quarter was any indication.

8:31 – Joe Johnson scores the first points of the second quarter, putting the Heat ahead, 20-18.

8:36 – We’ve got a time out with the score Toronto 26, Miami 25 with 8:53 left in the first half. Hassan Whiteside has returned to the game for the Heat. Meanwhile, in non-basketball news…

…anybody that referred to a basketball hoop as a “basketball ring” does not have what it takes to be our next president.

8:44 – DeMarre Carrol hits a three from the corner, and we have a time out with the score Toronto 32, Miami 30 with 6:15 left in the first half. It hasn’t been the most crisply played basketball game so far, but both teams are battling each other, and that’s good enough for me.

8:53 – The Raptors are starting to roll, with help from a 15-5 run, capped off by another three pointer from DeMarre Carrol. Our score’s Toronto 41, Indiana 35 with 2:49 left until halftime.

9:03 – We’ve made it to halftime with the score Toronto 43, Miami 41. Jonas Valanciunas has 14 points and 6 rebounds to lead the Raptors, and Terrence Ross came off the bench to score 11. Goran Dragic has scored eight points to lead the Heat, but he’s shooting just 3-10 from the field. In fact, the Heat are shooting just 38.1% for the game, but they’ve been able to stay right behind the Raptors so far. Kyle Lowry has continued to struggle for Toronto, scoring zero points on 0-4 shooting. He’s going to have to get it together before too long, because the Raptors aren’t going to go very far without him.

9:07 – Time for tonight’s first episode of Today in NBA Playoff History! Thanks to the basketball librarians over at Basketball-Reference for keeping track of all of this jive.

Back on May 3, 1998, the New York Knicks eliminated the Miami Heat, closing out the First Round of the Playoffs with a 98-81 victory in a decisive Game 5. Allan Houston scored 30 to lead the Knicks, who also got 22 points from John Starks. Charles Oakley contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds. Tim Hardaway led the Heat with 21 points and 8 assists, while PJ Brown chipped in with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Missing from the game were Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson, who were suspended after getting into a big giant fight in Game 4! In fact, the Heat and Knicks fought each other over the course of four straight Playoffs, from 1997-2000. Those games were some of the grossest basketball games I’ve ever seen, with low scores and a lot of pushing and shoving. While the games were ugly to watch, I do find myself nostalgic for the days when teams actually seriously hated one another. Those were the days, I tell you.


9:21 – Ian Eagle tells us that this is the first time Kyle Lowry has been held scoreless in a half in his Playoff career. He’s playing really poorly, and needs to find his mojo if the Raptors are going to be successful here in the Second Round.

9:22 – Dwyane Wade nails a three for the first points of the second half, putting the heat up 44-43. DeMar DeRozan answers with a jumper, but Hassan Whiteside lays in a lob pass, and the Heat lead 46-45 to start off the third quarter.

9:23 – Jonas Valanciunas hits a pair of free throws, giving the Raptors a 47-46 lead.

9:24 – Luol Deng gets into the paint and hits a tough shot, and the Heat retake the lead at 48-47.

9:25 – Norman Powell storms through the paint for a layup, and he’s got his first points of the game, and the Raptors have a 49-48 lead. On the next possession, DeMarre Carrol gets a layup of his own, extending the Raptors lead to 51-48. Dwyane Wade answers with a jumper for Miami, keeping this a one point game with the Heat behind, 51-50.

9:26 – Goran Dragic gets all the way to the hoop for a layup, plus he’s fouled! He misses the free throw, but the Heat have the lead at 52-51.

9:27 – Dragic pulls up for a jumper, and it’s good, extending the Miami lead to 54-51. DeMar DeRozan responds with a jumper of his own, and we’re back to a one point game with the Raptors trailing, 54-53.

9:28 – Dwyane Wade gets a couple of free throws, and Miami’s lead goes up to 56-53.

9:29 – Kyle Lowry finally gets on the board with a jumper, and not a moment too soon. The Raptors trail, 56-55. Hassan Whiteside answers with a dunk after blocking a DeMar DeRozan layup, and the Heat lead 58-55.

9:30 – Jonas Valanciunas hits a little one handed shot, and it’s a one point game again, with the Raptors down, 58-57.

9:31 – Dwyane Wade gets a shot in the paint to go, and we have a time out with the score Miami 60, Toronto 57 with 5:20 left in what’s been a lively third quarter. There’s been a pace and energy to the game that was lacking in the first half, and both teams are playing well as they vie for control of the game.

9:35 – DeMar DeRozan knocks down a jumper, and it’s a one point game again as the Raptors trail, 60-59.

9:36 – Josh Richardson pulls up and hits a jumper, and the Heat extend their lead to 62-59.

9:37 – We’ve got a time out with the score still Miami 62, Toronto 59 with 3:09 left in the third quarter. Apparently Dwyane Wade has passed Los Angeles Lakers legend Elgin Baylor for 16th on the all time Playoffs scoring list.

9:41 – After a three second violation against the Raptors, Goran Dragic hits the technical free throw, putting the Heat up 63-59.

9:46 – The third quarter comes to an end with the score Miami 68, Toronto 63. The Heat got their lead up to as high as seven, but the Raptors are still in this one as we head into the fourth quarter. This would be a nice time for Kyle Lowry to show up. He’s shooting just 1-7 from the field, and hasn’t contributed much in other aspects of the game either.

9:51 – Joe Johnson hits a jumper for the first points of the fourth quarter, extending Miami’s lead to 70-63 to match their largest lead of the ball game.

9:52 – Goran Dragic gets a basket, and he’s really lighting up the Raptors, who call a time out. It’s Miami 75, Toronto 65 with 9:50 remaining. Dragic’s up to 23 points on the night.

9:59 – Jonas Valanciunas banks one in off the glass after securing an errant pass from a still struggling Kyle Lowry, and we’ve got a time out with the score Miami 77, Toronto 69 with 7:07 left in the game. Valanciunas has 20 points and 11 rebounds so far, and he’s doing his best to keep this game from slipping away from the Raptors.

10:09 – DeMar DeRozan gets to the hoop and gets a shot to drop, plus he’s fouled! He has a chance to make this a three point game, but he misses the free throw. Toronto trails, 81-77.

10:10 – This time, DeRozan hits a jumper, and he’s fouled! He’ll have another chance to make it a three point game, but first we’ll have a time out with the score Miami 83, Toronto 79 with 2:43 left on the clock.

10:13 – DeRozan misses the free throw again, and the Raptors still trail 83-79.

10:15 – We’ve got a time out with the score still Miami 83, Toronto 79 with just 1:06 left in the game. DeRozan is trying to take over for the Raptors, but he’s missed his last couple of shots, as this has remained a four point game with time starting to run out.

10:18 – Cory Joseph goes to the hoop for a layup, and the Raptors are on a 12-4 run to make this a two point game! They’re down 83-81 as we go under a minute remaining. Goran Dragic answers with a corner three pointer, and the Raptors call time out with the score Miami 86, Toronto 81 with 40.6 seconds to go.

10:20 – Cory Joseph misses a shot, but Kyle Lowry grabs the rebound and goes up with it, but it’s blocked by Dwyane Wade! The Heat have the ball, and the Raptors have to foul them to stop the clock with 28 seconds to go and the Heat primed to take Game 1.

10:22 – We have a time out after Cory Joseph gets a quick bucket to make the score Miami 87, Toronto 83 with 20.9 seconds left.

10:26 – Terrence Ross nails a three from the corner, and it’s a one possession game with the score Miami 89, Toronto 86 with 6.5 seconds on the clock. The Heat take a time out. Are we about to see another late game inbound ruckus?

10:28 – Of course, the inbounds pass goes awry and in the ensuing scrum for the ball, a foul is called on Miami rookie Josh Richardson! The Raptors will get a pair of free throws with Terrence Ross at the line and 4.1 seconds remaining.

10:30 – Terrence Ross makes his first free throw…and misses the second! Hassan Whiteside grabs the rebound, and he’s immediately fouled. He’ll now have a pair of free throws with the Heat leading, 89-87, with 3.3 seconds to go. Toronto’s out of time outs.

10:31 – Whiteside misses the first free throw…and the second one is good. The Raptors have no time outs, and have to inbound right away. Kyle Lowry has the ball, gets to half court, launches a prayer…AND OH MAN!!! IT’S GOOD!!!!! WE’RE TIED AT 90!

10:35 – Raptors fans that had thrown in the towel and started to leave are now filing back to their seats as Overtime is set to begin. The Heat win the tip, and the extra period is underway.

10:36 – Joe Johnson flips in a shot from the baseline, putting the Heat up 97-95 to begin Overtime.

10:37 – Luol Deng hits a jumper, and the Heat extend their lead to 99-95.

10:38 – Dwyane Wade beats the shot clock with a jumper, and the Heat have scored the first six points of Overtime to take a 96-90 lead.

10:39 – We’ve got a time out, and the Raptors have yet to score in Overtime. It’s Miami 96, Toronto 90 with 1:39 on the clock. It’d be a shame if the Raptors followed up that heroic shot from Kyle Lowry by laying an egg here in OT.

10:44 – The refs reviewed a shot from Joe Johnson that appeared to have missed the rim after he tried to beat the shot clock. Turns out it just barely hit the rim, apparently, and the Heat get the ball back. Dwyane Wade takes advantage and gets himself a floater from the free throw line, and the Heat are on an 8-0 run to make the score Miami 98, Toronto 90 with 1:21 left in the game.

10:48 – DeMar DeRozan gets a bucket, and the Raptors finally score here in OT. They’re down 98-92 as we go under a minute left on the clock.

10:49 – We’ve got a time out with 30.1 on the clock, and the score still Miami 98, Toronto 92. It’s made me legitimately angry how horribly the Raptors have played so far in Overtime after getting us all excited with that astounding buzzer beater.

10:50 – DeMarre Carrol gets a dunk, and the Heat take a time out with the score Miami 98, Toronto 94 with 26.9 seconds to go.

10:54 – Toronto fouls rookie Josh Richardson to the free throw line with 15.7 seconds left. He hits the first one…but misses the second. Toronto secures the rebound, and they take a time out with the score Miami 99, Toronto 94 with 15.1 seconds left.

10:57 – Kyle Lowry loops the ball to Jonas Valanciunas for an easy dunk. Then the Heat go to inbound the ball, and it goes out of bounds! Of course, we’re going to get a review, and it looks like it’s out on Wade! There’s 9.7 seconds remaining, and the Raptors very well might get the ball with a chance to tie the game.

10:59 – After review…it’s Raptors ball! They have 9.7 seconds left to try and tie this game. They get the ball into DeMar DeRozan…and he loses control of it! Dwayne Wade picks it up, and takes it down the court for the hoop, and he’s fouled! He hits the free throw with 1.8 seconds on the clock, and the Raptors are out of time outs.

11:01 – That does it. Our final score: Miami 102, Toronto 96 in Overtime. That turned out to be a memorable one. Goran Dragic scored 26 points to lead the Heat, and also grabbed 6 rebounds. Dwyane Wade went for 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks, in addition to making a bunch of big plays on both sides of the court down the stretch. Hassan Whiteside chipped in with 9 points and 17 rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas had a great night for the Raptors, finishing with 24 points and 14 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan had 22 points and 6 rebounds. Kyle Lowry hit the big, game tying buzzer beater, but it was his only three in seven attempts. He shot just 3-13 overall for seven points and six assists.

Neither team did a great job down the stretch, as the Heat let the Raptors hang around with some poor execution, missing some free throws and botching some inbound passes. Meanwhile, the Raptors immediately dug themselves a hole in Overtime, surrendering the first eight points of the extra frame. Despite this, they still had a chance to force a second overtime, but DeMar DeRozan coughed up the basketball. Both teams have plenty to improve upon as the series continues.


Aside from some of the sloppiness, it turned out to be a very memorable game, and that Kyle Lowry buzzer beater should be appearing in commercials and NBA Playoff montages for years to come, so the Raptors have at least one thing going for them. More importantly, they’ve lost their seventh straight Game 1 to fall behind in this series. In fact, they’ve only won one of the nine Game 1s they’ve participated in.

11:02 – We’re immediately sent out to Oakland where Brian Anderson and Steve Smith are narrating Game 2 between the Warriors and Blazers, and good grief! The score’s Portland 24, Golden State 13 as the Blazers are off to a good start as they look to even the series.

11:08 – We’ve come to the end of the first quarter with the score Portland 34, Golden State 21. Al-Farouq Aminu has ten points for the Blazers already, who are shooting 66.7% from the field to start the game, while the Warriors are down at 38.5%.

11:11 – CJ McCollum comes around a curl to hit a jumper to extend the Blazers lead to 36-21.

11:17 – We have a time out in Oakland with the score Portland 42, Golden State 28 with 8:29 left in the first half. The Blazers are really in a groove here, but there’s a solid chance the Warriors are going to make their run to get back into this one. Can the Blazers sustain their hot shooting and withstand a potential furious charge from the defending champs?

11:24 – Harrison Barnes drives along the baseline and throws down a one hand slam! It ignites the crowd, but the Warriors still have a lot of work to do with the score Portland 45, Golden State 31 with 6:50 remaining in the first half.

11:31 – The Warriors are starting to make their move, and they’ve gone on a 9-2 run to make the score Portland 47, Golden State 37 with 4:27 to go in the second quarter.

11:38 – The Warriors haven’t stopped rolling, and after a shot goes in from Shawn Livingston, it’s Portland 49, Golden State 46 with 2:42 left in the first half. This is what I was talking about when I wondered about a potential furious charge from the defending champs.

11:44 – The Blazers have responded with a 10-2 run to make the score Portland 59, Golden State 48 with 58.9 seconds left in the first half. It’s been an impressive response from the Trail Blazers, after the Warriors got their run all the way up to 18-2.

11:48 – We’re here at halftime with the score Portland 59, Golden State 51. CJ McCollum, who had a miserable Game 1, leads the Blazers with 14 points. Al-Farouq Aminu is right behind him with 13. Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala have each scored 11 to lead the Warriors. Portland got off to a strong start, building their lead up as high as 17, before the Warriors stormed back to make the deficit a little more manageable. You have to think the Warriors are going to continue to nip at the Blazers lead, but if Portland can keep their cool and respond well, like they did late in the second quarter, they should be able to get out of here with a well earned win. Either way, it should be a good second half, so stay tuned.

11:53 – It’s time for another episode of Today in NBA Playoff History!

Back on May 3, 2007, the Warriors upset the Mavericks with a 111-86 victory in Game 6 of the First Round, shocking the basketball world by eliminating the Mavs. The Warriors were the 8-seed that year, and Dallas went 67-15 that year, but they fell to an upstart Warriors team that went just 42-40. Stephen Jackson scored 33 points and grabbed 5 rebounds for Golden State. Baron Davis went for 20 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Matt Barnes, who we saw on the Grizzlies earlier in the current Playoffs, went scored 16, grabbed 11 boards and distributed 7 assists. Finally, Andris Biedrins scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Josh Howard had 20 points and 6 rebounds, while Jerry Stackhouse came off the bench to also score 20. Mavs legend, and 2007 regular season MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, had one of his most miserable games, shooting 2-13, while scoring 8 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Mavericks season ended with an unexpected and bitter defeat after one of the great upsets in NBA Playoff history.


12:08 am – Shawn Livingston hits a shot from the free throw line, giving us our first points of the second half, and cutting the blazers lead to 59-53.

12:10 – Klay Thompson hits a three from the corner, and it’s a three point game with the Warriors trailing, 59-56.

12:11 – Technical foul on Klay Thompson! He usually doesn’t lose his cool, but he said a few too many things to one of the refs, and got hit with the T. Damian Lillard hits the technical free throw for the Blazers, extending their lead to 60-56.

12:15 – Shawn Livingston hits a turnaround, but Damian Lillard answers with a three! Portland leads, 66-60.

12:17 – Andrew Bogut blocks a shot from Mason Plumlee, and we’ve got a time out with the score Portland 68, Golden State 64 with 5:53 left in the third quarter. Every time the Warriors have gotten to within one possession, the Blazers have nicely answered as they’ve been able to maintain their lead so far.

12:19 – I, um, don’t think I’ll be going to see the Angry Birds movie.

12:21 – Damian Lillard pulls up for a jumper, and the Blazers continue to fend off the Warriors, who call a time out with the score Portland 72, Golden State 64 with 5:18 left in the third quarter.

12:28 – Leandro Barbossa knocks down a three from the corner, and we’ve got a time out with the score Portland 76, Golden State 69 with 2:51 left in the third. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard has scored nine points in the quarter, and is 4-6 from downtown as he tries to keep the Blazers ahead of the Warriors.

12:35 – Damian Lillard beats the buzzer with a three to end the third quarter! It gives him 17 points in the quarter and it makes the score Portland 87, Golden State 76. The Blazers have been impressive all game long, and they continue to answer every run from the Warriors. Can they keep it up for one more quarter?

12:40 – Draymond Green gets a hoop, plus he’s fouled! He misses the free throw, however, but he’s still got the first points of the fourth, cutting the Blazers lead to 87-78.

12:42 – Draymond Green lobs one up for Festus Ezeli who slams it home! It leads to a time out with the score Portland 87, Golden State 82 with 10:11 left in the game. The Warriors have scored the first six points of the final quarter. Are the Blazers out of answers?

12:50 – Andre Iguodala hits a pair of free throws, and it’s a three point game with the Warriors trailing, 91-88.

12:51- Klay Thompson knocks down a three, and we’re tied at 91! The Blazers call a time out with 6:43 left in the game.

12:56 – CJ McCollum dribbles all the way under the hoop, keeps going, then hits a turnaround. However, Klay Thompson comes back with another three, and the Warriors take the lead, but Maurice Harkless gets a bucket under the hoop, and the Blazers lead, 95-94.

12:57 – Festus Ezeli saves the ball to Shawn Livingston, who hits a little hook shot, and the Warriors go back ahead, 96-95.

12:58 – We’re going to have a time out with the score Golden State 96, Portland 95 with 4:45 remaining. The Blazers really need to calm down here, as they’ve been coughing up the ball as the game gets more and more frantic. This sort of behavior is the kind of thing that will cost them the game.

1:02 – Klay Thompson knocks down two free throws, and he’s up to 25 points and the Warriors are up to a 98-95 lead.

1:04 – Draymond Green goes along the baseline and elevates for a monster dunk! It puts the Warriors up, 100-95, as they’re in the midst of an 18-4 run.

1:05 – Shawn Livingston hits a shot, and the Blazers need a time out as things have unraveled for them down the stretch. It’s Golden State 102, Portland 95 with 2:14 remaining.

1:12 – Well, the Warriors have this one pretty much locked up. It’s Golden State 108, Portland 97 with just 45.7 seconds left in the game. The Warriors have outscored the Blazers 32-10 here in the fourth quarter and are currently on a 17-4 run.

1:14 – This one’s over with a final score of Golden State 110, Portland 99 after a tremendous comeback from the defending champion Warriors. As great of a win as it was for Golden State, it was an equally awful loss for the Trail Blazers. They had a real chance to win this game, especially after withstanding everything the Warriors threw at them until the fourth quarter when it really mattered. Portland just fell apart, turning the ball over and taking too many iffy shots on the way to getting outscored 34-12 in the fourth.

Klay Thompson shook off a lousy first half to finish with 27 points to lead the Warriors. Draymond Green had another ridiculous box score, finishing with 17 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 blocks. Damian Lillard had 25 points and 6 assists, but wasn’t heard from in the fourth quarter, as he was unable to score after his 17 point third. CJ McCollum scored 22, and Mason Plumlee chipped in with 6 points and 11 rebounds, but the Blazers suffered a bitter defeat, and will head back up to Portland trailing 2-0 in the series.


I think it’s safe to say that the Semifinals are going to be better than the First Round. Both games had great final stretches, and we got a half court buzzer beater that could have become part of NBA folklore if the Raptors didn’t botch the Overtime. Irregardless, it was a great night of basketball, and a bad night for Ted Cruz. In other words, everybody* won.

*The Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers and Ted Cruz did not win.

Author: tomeagher

Watching too much basketball.

One thought on “NBA Playoffs – Day 18”

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