Tuesday night in opening round of the playoffs had an All-Star reestablish himself, a fourth quarter explosion for a slumping guard and a back-court duo protecting home court. So for those who missed out on the action, take a few moments to catch back up.
Toronto’s Hot Start Creates Tied Series
The Toronto Raptors refused to let the end of game one carry into game 2. Sparked by a loud Air Canada Centre croud, the Raptors started the game on an 11-0 run and never trailed. Kawhi Leonard scored 37 points and Toronto took game 2 by the score of 111-82.
Leonard scored 8 of the first 11 points of the game and hit his first 9 shots he took. He finished the game making 15 of the 22 shots he took in the victory. The 15 made shots was a career-high in a playoff game for him. He also added 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, who went scoreless on Saturday, broke his scoring drought with an early free throw. Then he added a three-pointer and finished with 22 points and 7 assists. Lowry knocked down 4 of his 5 attempts from three. The Raptors are now 18-3 this year when he hits 3 or more three-pointers in a game.
Orlando was led by Aaron Gordon, who scored 20 points and Terrence Ross had 15 points. Nikola Vucevic struggled to make an impact, only scored 6 points on 3 for 7 shooting from the floor.
Game 3 will be in Orlando on Friday night at 7pm.
Murray’s Big Fourth Quarter Helps Denver Win At Home
For three quarters Denver guard Jamal Murray was having a game to forget. He was 0-8 shooting the basketball and had only 3 points. But the former Kentucky Wildcat standout had the confidence from his head coach and teammates to continue to keep shooting. His shooting helped carry the Nuggets to a 114-106 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Jamal scored 21 of his team-high 24 points in the final quarter as he helped his team win their first home playoff game since April 30th of 2013. Murray hit 8 straight shots before missing a three-pointer with 45 seconds left in the game.
The Spurs had a 19 point lead midway through the third quarter. Then Gary Harris (23 points) and Nikola Jokic (21 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists) helped to get the lead down to 7 at the end of the third quarter. Before Murray took over.
Even though DeMar DeRozan scored 10 of his game-high 31 points in the final quarter, it wasn’t enough to bring the Spurs to victory.
The series shifts to San Antonio for game 3 on Thursday night.
Portland Cruises To A 2-0 Series Lead
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard combined for 62 points as the Portland Trail Blazers took care of the Oklahoma City Thunder by the score of 112-94. Portland took care of home and their dynamic duo led the charge.
McCollum finished with 33 points, but 9 of them came in the third quarter. That quarter changed the entire game. CJ, Damian and Maurice Harkless combined to score 19 points in a row that broke open a tied game and put the Blazers up by 8 midway through the third. Lillard (29 points) scored 11 in the quarter as well.
Paul George led the Thunder with 27 points and Russell Westbrook had 14 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds. Westbrook shot 5 for 20 from the floor and took full responsibility for the loss.He in the post-game interview that he needs to play better in game 3. He will have that chance is the series moves to Oklahoma City for game 3 on Friday night.