Post Up: Cavs Steal Game 1 In Toronto, Warriors Take Big Lead Over Pelicans

by May 02, 2018
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Steph Curry

Cavaliers 113, Raptors 112 (Cavaliers lead 1-0) — OT

Man, what a game. The Raptors looked like they were going to run away with Game 1 in front of their home crowd before a 38-point second quarter for the Cavs made this a close one at the half. Toronto threatened to break away in both the third and fourth quarters, taking double-digit leads on multiple occasions only to have Cleveland fight right back.

As regulation wound down, the Cavs made their big push. Down 92-82 after a Delon Wright three early in the final frame, it was the non-LeBron Cavs — like Kevin Love (7 points, 13 rebounds), J.R. Smith (20 points on 5 threes) and Tristan Thompson (14 points, 12 rebounds) — that stepped up to bring Cleveland within striking distance. Then LeBron (26 points on 12-of-30 shooting, 11 rebounds, 13 assists) started to get going himself, and tied it up at 105 with 30 seconds left with one of his patented fadeaways.

Still the Raptors had a chance to win it before going to overtime. After Fred VanVleet’s three clanged off the rim, Toronto missed multiple putbacks that would have likely given them a Game 1 W. LeBron also had a chance to win it in regulation, but missed. Instead, it went on to overtime where the Cavs took an early lead on a Kyle Korver (19 points on 5 threes) triple and never looked back.

Down 113-112 with the shot clock off, though, the Raptors had another opportunity for the win. However, DeMar DeRozan (22 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) passed it out to VanVleet who missed once again from deep. Thompson grabbed the game-clinching rebound and the Air Canada Centre crowd — and the Raptors — were left stunned and without homecourt advantage.

Warriors 121, Pelicans 116 (Warriors lead 2-0)

With Playoff Rondo (22 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, 5 steals) in full force and strong play from Anthony Davis (25 points, 15 rebounds) and Jrue Holiday (24 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists), the Pelicans had a real chance to swing momentum in their favor by stealing a game in Oakland. But, with Steph Curry (28 points in 27 minutes) making his long-awaited return and Kevin Durant (29 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists) knocking down shot after shot down the stretch, it just wasn’t meant to be.

A sloppy, back-and-forth first quarter ended with New Orleans taking a small lead which disappeared by halftime when Klay Thompson (10 points on 4-of-20 shooting) drilled an almost-impossible buzzer-beating three off the glass. The Pelicans were able to push back ahead at points yet couldn’t get any separation not only due to Steph and KD being locked in but also because Draymond Green (20 points, 9 assists, 12 rebounds) and Andre Iguodala (15 points, 8 rebounds) helped out with the scoring load.

Even with that said, the Pelicans found themselves down just 99-98 with over seven minutes to play after Rondo drilled one of his three triples on the night. But Iguodala responded with a quick bucket and the Dubs rolled off a 11-0 run that essentially put New Orleans away. The real capper was an Iggy three-point play consisting of a fastbreak dunk that bounced 20 feet over the rim before falling right through the hoop. It sent Oracle into a frenzy and made it clear that the Warriors were going to head on the road up 2-0.

Definitely a better showing for New Orleans than in Game 1 but it just wasn’t enough. This was as close to 100 percent as the Warriors have been in weeks and they were downright scary at points. The Pelicans are going to need to step it up another level going forward — especially on defense — if they’re going to have a chance. It would also help to get to the free throw line a bit more (only nine attempts on the night).