8:34 pm – Whew! That was a close one! I thought I was going to miss the start of the game due to my real job, but I was able to get my work done with minutes to spare. My reward: getting to watch Game 2 of the lousy Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs are up 1-0 after a resounding Game 1 win. Hopefully this game doesn’t make me want to go back to work, but we’ll see.
8:37 – Luis Scola is back in the starting lineup for the Raptors. He was their starter during the year, but has been scarcely seen here in the Playoffs.
8:38 – The Raptors win the opening tip, and we’re underway here in Game 2!
8:39 – DeMar DeRozan hits a shot, and the Raptors strike first in Game 2. It’s not long before LeBron finds JR Smith for a dunk, and we’re tied at two.
8:48 – FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Bismack Biyombo and Kyrie Irving have to be separated from one another after Kyrie plows into him, for which he receives a retaliatory forearm to the chest. As usual, nothing aside from a lot of squaring off happened. It takes us into a time out with the score Cleveland 18, Toronto 12 with 6:35 left in the first quarter. This might not be a great series, but at least these two teams don’t seem to like each other.
8:52 – Mike Breen, narrating along with his pals Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, informs us that Irving and Biyombo each received technical fouls.
8:57 – Terrence Ross knocks down a three, and the Raptors are on a 9-0 run. It makes the score Toronto 23, Cleveland 22 with 3:09 left in the first quarter as the Cavs call a time out.
9:05 – The first quarter comes to an end with the score Cleveland 30, Toronto 28. DeMar DeRozan has ten points for the Raptors, who are off to a solid start tonight. Of course, they were off to a solid start in Game 1 as well, and then the Cavs slaughtered them. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope we’re not in for a similar experience tonight.
9:09 – Iman Shumpert hits a three to kick off the second quarter, and the Cavs extend their lead to 33-28.
9:13 – LeBron James gets a steal and stampedes all the way down the court for a big dunk! It leads to a time out with the score Cleveland 39, Toronto 35 with 9:17 left in the first half.
9:20 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sighting! The NBA’s all time leading scorer is enjoying this game from a suite, and sipping on a drink.
Kareem is in the building! pic.twitter.com/BoMVfylU1x
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 20, 2016
9:23 – We have a time out with the score Cleveland 42, Toronto 41 with 6:13 left until halftime. Obviously, the Raptors are doing a much better job hanging in there tonight, with help from their 55.2% shooting.
9:32 – Another time out with the score Cleveland 50, Toronto 46 with 2:39 left in the first half.
9:44 – We’re here at halftime, and the Cavs have done what they so often do: build a big lead. They’ve done it with a 16-2 run to make the score Cleveland 62, Toronto 48. LeBron James nearly has a triple-double already with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Kevin Love’s scored 15, and Kyrie Irving’s got 12 as Cavaliers have taken control. DeMar DeRozan has 16 to lead the Raptors, and Terrence Ross has 10 off the bench, but once again, Toronto has let Cleveland get away from him, it just took a little longer than it did in Game 1.
9:55 – It’s time for tonight’s exciting episode of Today in NBA Playoff History, brought to you by the good folks down at Basketball-Reference!
It’s actually been a quiet day in NBA Playoff History, but let’s go back to May 19, 1990 for Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs. It went to Overtime, like all Game 7s should, and the Blazers outlasted the Spurs with a 108-105 win. Terry Porter led the way with 36 points and 9 assists, Clyde Drexler went for 22 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists, while Jerome Kersey had 21, 15 and 6 steals. Buck Williams chimed in with 12 points and 15 rebounds, and it seems the Blazers needed each and every one of those big contributions. Terry Cummings had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, and David Robinson sprung for 20 & 16. Willie Anderson scored 20 and passed out 7 assists, but it wasn’t enough as San Antonio fell short. Sounds like this is a game worthy of Hardwood Classics on NBA TV.
10:03 – Dwayne Casey gets hit with a technical foul. The Raptors coach is pissed off after DeMar DeRozan doesn’t get a foul called in his favor. Kyrie Irving misses the free throw however, and the score remains 62-48, Cavs.
10:06 – DeMarre Carrol gets to the hoop and banks in a shot, and someone’s finally scored here in the third quarter. This particular basket cuts the Cavs lead to 62-50.
10:07 – Tristan Thompson misses a dunk, but the ball heads straight to Kyrie Irving, who takes it in for a layup. It gets us a time out with the score Cleveland 67, Toronto 50 with 8:47 left in the third quarter. Even when they blow a dunk, the Cavs still find a way to score.
10:12 – LeBron James just passed Shaq for fourth place on the NBA’s all time Playoff scoring list as we grasp at ways to try and make this game a bit more interesting, because I don’t think the Raptors are going to do it.
10:13 – DeMarre Carroll banks in a three, which is always fun. The Cavs call a time out with the score Cleveland 69, Toronto 57 with 7:22 left in the third.
10:33 – The third quarter comes to an end with the score Cleveland 86, Toronto 69. It’s been a ho-hum game. The Cavs are just vastly superior, and the Raptors can barely compete. I even double checked to make sure that I didn’t go into a coma and miss any time outs or anything, and I didn’t. This is the sort of game where you can space out for an extended period of time and not miss a damn thing.
10:37 – Channing Frye gets a layup, and it’s the first points of the fourth quarter and they give the Cavs an 88-69 lead.
10:43 – I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve been working on building my LinkedIn profile for the better part of this game. Anyway, LeBron drives to the hoop for a layup, and it leads to a Toronto time out with the score Cleveland 95, Toronto 75 with 7:48 remaining. LeBron’s got himself a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists so far.
10:50 – Time out with the score Cleveland 99, Toronto 83 with 5:01 left in the game. Good thing both of these teams saved all their time outs for this fourth quarter, just in case this game gets close or something.
10:57 – Another time out with the score Cleveland 104, Toronto 85 with 3:20 left in the ball game. And to think, just a few hours ago, I was worried that I was going to have to miss this game.
11:05 – This game finally comes to an end, although it was certainly over long ago. Our final score: Cleveland 108, Toronto 89.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 26 points, but LeBron was the one who had the big night. He recored his 15th career Playoff triple-double, finishing the night with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Tristan Thompson chipped in with 9 points and 12 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan had 22 points and 5 rebounds for the Raptors, and although they kept the game close for the first quarter and a half, things quickly went down the tubes for them.
It’s beginning to look more and more like the Cavs are going to reach the Finals without having lost a single Playoff game. In fact, they haven’t lost a Playoff game against an Eastern Conference “foe” since last year’s Conference Semifinals. I’d actually like to apologize to the Cavaliers for not giving them the attention they deserved tonight, because this is a rare level of greatness they’ve reached. It’ll be fun to see what happens when they face either the Warriors or Thunder in the Finals, but until then, we’ll have to slog through at least a couple more of these games.
For some reason, there’s no games Friday night, and I won’t be around Saturday for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. While missing a Playoff game always sends me into an unreasonable rage, I think I’ll live in this case. I’ll be back to watch Sunday’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, so The Bonus will resume its regularly scheduled programming on Monday. Until then, enjoy a break from having this blog rammed down your throat.