Raptors Win First Playoff Series Since 2001
The Toronto Raptors, powered by DeMar DeRozan’s 30 points, beat Indiana Pacers 89-84 Sunday in Game 7 of the first round playoff series to advance to the conference semifinals.Advertisement
Going into the final quarter, the home team led the Pacers by a comfortable margin of 78-64 but nearly lost the game due to a poor fourth quarter in which they scored only 11 points. The Raptors will now face the third-seeded Miami Heat in the second round starting Tuesday. |Final Box Score|
The series-win caps off an incredible season for the second-seeded Raptors who won their first postseason series since the victory over New York Knicks in 2011. Raptors also ended the NBA’s longest active draught between series victories in NBA postseason history.
Raptors collect offensive rebounds
For Toronto, the front court of Jonas Valanciunas (15 rebounds, 10 points) and Patrick Patterson (11 points, 4 rebounds) endured a physical battle and gave their shooters plenty of second opportunities through a bunch offensive rebounds. Bismack Biyombo, coming off the bench, also had 11 rebounds. Raptors had an incredible 18 offensive rebounds through the game compared to Indiana’s 5.
While point guard Kyle Lowry had 11 points and 9 assists, rookie Norman Powell added 13 points off the bench. Though DeMarre Carroll finished with just 3 points, the veteran wing played lockdown defense for 37 minutes on the court – which including locking down Paul George. Carroll had 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks and an assist while anchoring the Raptors’ lockdown defense.
Paul George plays 46 minutes…
Prior to the game, the Pacers superstar had committed to playing all 48 minutes. George nearly did so, playing 46 minutes for his 26 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and an assist. However, George was also sloppy on many possessions – finishing with 7 turnovers including a crucial one in the fourth.
For the Pacers, the backcourt of Monta Ellis (15 points, 7 assists) and George Hill (19 points) had really efficient shooting nights but didn’t get the desired support from the role players. Hill hit 3 of his 4 shots from deep and 8/11 overall but was outshone by DeRozan & Co.
Can the Raptors beat the Heat and advance to their first-ever Conference Final?