The Raptors are moving on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2001—DeMar DeRozan poured in a game-high 30 points Sunday in Toronto’s 89-84 Game 7 victory against the Indiana Pacers.
Paul George led Indy with 26 points, but admitted to running out of gas in the second half.
DeRozan shot 10 of 32 from the field, but says it feels good to get the proverbial postseason monkey off his team’s back.
Per the AP:
The Raptors won a best-of-seven series for the first time in franchise history. […] The Raptors won their first postseason series since a five-game triumph over the New York Knicks in 2001, ending the NBA’s longest active drought between series victories. Toronto lost in the first round the previous two seasons, including a Game 7 loss to Brooklyn in 2014 and a sweep to Washington last year.
Jonas Valanciunas had 15 rebounds and 10 points, Rookie Norman Powell added 13 points, and Kyle Lowry had 11 for Toronto, set to open at home against the Heat on Tuesday night.
George called DeRozan, a fellow All-Star and teammate with the U.S. national team, “a special player.” […] “Regardless of his struggling to shoot in this series, he’s special,” George said. “He’s still probably one of the most poised and under-control players I’ve guarded.”