Tag: toronto raptors

The Houston Rockets grab a 119-109 victory over the defending champions, Toronto Raptors

The Houston Rockets grab a 119-109 victory over the defending champions, Toronto Raptors

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Toronto Raptors recently saw their seven-game win streak come to an end as they fell to the Miami Heat on Tuesday, 121-110, in overtime.  They will look to start up another streak as they host the Houston Rockets at the Scotiabank Arena tonight.  The Rockets, on the other hand, are coming fresh off a 135-133 loss they took in the hands of the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday in double overtime.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Raptors and the Rockets have met up a grand total of 47 times in the past as the Raptors won 20 games while the Rockets went on to win 27 of the matchups.

INACTIVES:

Houston Rockets:

-Eric Gordon (knee; 10.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 30.9 FG%, 28.4 3P%)
-Gerald Green (foot)
-NeNe (abductor)
-Tyson Chandler (coach’s decision; 1.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 76.5 FG%)
-Gary Clark (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 36.4 FG%, 27.8 3P%)
-Isaiah Hartenstein (coach’s decision; 4.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 73.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Michael Frazier (G-League)

Toronto Raptors:

-Stanley Johnson (groin; 1.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
-Patrick McCaw (knee; 4.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 60.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
-Matt Thomas (finger; 4.8 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.3 APG, 54.1 FG%, 53.8 3P%)
-Oshae Brissett (coach’s decision; 0.8 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 33.3 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
-Dewan Hernandez (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 20.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Malcolm Miller (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 54.5 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
-Shamorie Ponds (2.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Houston Rockets would have a slight advantage in the first half as they shot forty-six percent from the field, keeping the Toronto Raptors to forty-two percent.  Ben McLemore scored 14 points while knocking down four three-pointers in the process.  P.J. Tucker helped out with 11 points which included 3 three-pointers.  He also had seven rebounds and two assists.

Russell Westbrook had nine points on just thirty-three percent shooting.  He did, however, record four rebounds and six assists while James Harden was held to just six points.  Danuel House played the most minutes off the bench as he chalked up sixteen points.

On the other end of the court, Pascal Siakam, who is averaging 25 points per game this season, got hot for eighteen points.  He had two three-pointers in the first period while Fred VanVleet contributed with nine points.  VanVleet also had two three-pointers while recording three rebounds, five assists, one steal, and a block.

Kyle Lowry had eight points which also held two three-pointers.  OG Anunoby earned himself five points while Marc Gasol was kept scoreless.  Norman Powell played ten minutes off the bench as he had six points while the Rockets went into halftime with a 63-55 lead.

The defending champions attempted to make a comeback in the second half as they shot forty-three percent from the field, keeping the Texas ball club to thirty-four percent shooting.  Kyle Lowry had eleven points as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He was able to bury a trey in the third quarter while grabbing three rebounds and dishing off four assists.

VanVleet also had eleven points, knocking down a shot from beyond the arc, as well.  Siakam helped out with six points while Gasol scored five points.  Powell played the most minutes off the bench as he earned himself eight points.

As for the Rockets, Harden and Westbrook combined for 27 points while Harden had three-pointers.  He also recorded five rebounds, two steals, and a block while Westbrook had nine rebounds, five assists, and a steal.  McLemore chalked up 14 points, earning twelve of them from beyond the arc and the other two from the free-throw line.

Former Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Austin Rivers played 18 minutes off the bench but only had six points but the Rockets were still able to pull away with a 119 to 109 victory.  Ben McLemore finished the game with a season-high 28 points, along with 2 rebounds, a season-high-tying 3 assists, and a steal while Pascal Siakam had 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a season-high-tying 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Houston Rockets will host Devin Booker (24.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 6.2 APG, 50.4 FG%, 40.7 3P%) and the Phoenix Suns (9-11) on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.  This will mark the first of four matchups between these two ball clubs this season.

The Toronto Raptors will head to Pennsylvania to take on Joel Embiid (22.4 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.9 APG, 45.4 FG%, 31.3 3P%) and the Philadephia 76ers (15-6) on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.  This will be the second of four times that they battle each other this season.  November 25 was the last time they met up as the Raptors won that game, 101-96.  Pascal Siakam finished that game with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, one steal, and two blocks while Josh Richardson had 25 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and a block.

The Mavericks come back to take a 110-102 victory over the defending champions

The Mavericks come back to take a 110-102 victory over the defending champions

The Dallas Mavericks are currently in a bit of a funk as they hope to avoid a third straight loss tonight.  They are coming fresh off of a crushing 106-103 loss to Kristaps Porginzis’ former team, New York Knicks, on Thursday.  The Mavericks will hope to grab a win as they host the Toronto Raptors at the American Airlines Center this evening.

The Raptors, on the other hand, are coming off of a 114-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.  Tonight’s game will wrap up a five-game road trip for them as they go back home for the next two games.  This battle will mark the first of two meetings between the Raptors and the Mavericks this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Mavericks and the Raptors have played each other a grand total of 45 times in the past as the Mavericks won 25 games while the Raptors ended up winning 20 games.

INACTIVES:

Toronto Raptors:

-Serge Ibaka (ankle; 14.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 0.8 APG, 52.4 FG%, 31.3 3P%)
-Kyle Lowry (thumb; 21.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 6.5 APG, 47.8 FG%, 42.6 3P%)
-Patrick McCaw (knee; 4.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 60.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
-Dewan Hernandez (coach’s decision)
-Stanley Johnson (coach’s decision; 1.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
-Malcolm Miller (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Shamorie Ponds (G-League)
-Oshae Brissett (G-League)

Dallas Mavericks:

-J.J. Barea (coach’s decision; 11.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 75.0 3P%)
-Courtney Lee (coach’s decision; 2.7 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 44.4 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Boban Marjanovic (coach’s decision; 7.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 51.7 FG%)
-Antonius Cleveland (G-League)
-Isaiah Roby (G-League)
-Josh Reaves (G-League)
-Ryan Broekhoff (1.5 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 100.0 FG%, 100.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Raptors would have control of the game in the first half as they shot forty-six percent from his field, keeping the home team at thirty-nine percent shooting.  Both Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet scored 13 points each, both knocking down three treys.  Powell had five defensive rebounds while VanVleet had two defensive rebounds and four assists.

Pascal Siakam helped out with 11 points but shot only thirty-three percent from the field.  He had two three-pointers while recording 4 assists, one steal, and one block.  Three-time All-Star Marc Gasol was held to just six points but drilled a three-pointer in the first quarter.  Matt Thomas played the most minutes off the bench as he had ten points.

On the other end of the court, Luka Doncic warmed up with 15 points, missing only three of his seven shots put up.  He also had four rebounds, four assists, and one steal, but ended turning the ball over five times.  Porzingis contributed with eight points while grabbing eight rebounds.  Seth Curry saw to it that he got six points, all of which he earned from beyond the arc.  Tim Hardaway Jr. played 11 minutes off the bench but only recorded four points as the Canada team went into halftime with a 60-53 advantage.

The Texas ball club would take over in the second half as they went on a huge 57-42 run, shooting forty-five percent from the field.  The Mavericks’ defense limited the Raptors to thirty-seven percent shooting.  During this run, Porzingis added 12 more points to his scoring total while collecting seven rebounds.  Doncic earned 11 points, getting nine of them from the free-throw line.  Delon Wright played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight points.

As for the Toronto Raptors, Powell and VanVleet combined for 24 more points while OG Anunoby had eight points.  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played 15 minutes off the bench but only had six points as the Mavericks came back to take the game, 110-102.  Luka Doncic finished the game with 26 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals while Norman Powell also had 26 points, along with 6 rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The Toronto Raptors will host Devonte’ Graham (18.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, 39.6 FG%, 38.9 3P%) and the Charlotte Hornets (5-7) on Monday at 7:30 p.m.  This will mark the first of four meetings between these two teams this season.

The Dallas Mavericks will host DeMar DeRozan (20.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.8 APG, 51.9 FG%, 00.0 3P%) and the San Antonio Spurs (5-7) on Monday at 8:30 p.m.  This will be the first of four times that these teams will see each other this season.

 

Davis’ Laker debut is spoiled as the Clippers hand the Lakers a 112-102 loss

Davis’ Laker debut is spoiled as the Clippers hand the Lakers a 112-102 loss

This offseason was one for the books.  With all the trades and team moves that took place this year, none are more exciting than the new additions to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers.  This offseason, the Clippers signed defending champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and traded a record number of draft picks for Paul George.  This move put the Clippers as favorites to win it all as they have two great defenders and scorers at the head with a bunch of other great defensive players behind them.

As for their rival, the Lakers, they hired Frank Vogel as head coach for the team with Jason Kidd as his assistant.  On the court, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to pair with three-time champion LeBron James.  In return, the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks.  They also added Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins, Jared Dudley, and Danny Green.

As the season starts, the Lakers and the Clippers will battle tonight for the upper hand in this season matchup.  This game will mark the first of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season.  Last year, they split the season series at two apiece.  Overall, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers met a total of 220 times with the Lakers winning 148 games and the Clippers grabbing 72.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Kostas Antetokounmpo (coach’s decision)
-Alex Caruso (coach’s decision)
-Zach Norvell (coach’s decision)
-Kyle Kuzma (ankle)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (foot)
-Rajon Rondo (calf)
-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)

Los Angeles Clippers:

-Mfiondu Kabengele (coach’s decision)
-Terance Mann (coach’s decision)
-Johnathan Motley (coach’s decision)
-Jerome Robinson (coach’s decision)
-Amir Coffey (ankle)
-Derrick Walton
-Paul George (rehab)
-Rodney McGruder (ankle)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Clippers would have the upper hand in the majority of the first half as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field, keeping the Los Angeles Lakers at forty-six percent.  Kawhi Leonard got hot for 20 points as he hit eight of his eleven shots attempted.  He had a three-pointer early in the second quarter as he collected three rebounds and gave out three assists.

Former Philadelphia 76ers’ guard Landry Shamet helped out with five points which included a three-pointer in the second period.  Patrick Beverley was held to just two points but was able to record seven rebounds, three assists, and one block.  Three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams contributed with 13 points off of the bench.

On the other end of the court, Anthony Davis chalked up eighteen points on forty-five percent shooting.  He also grabbed four rebounds, threw out two assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot.  LeBron James helped out with 14 points which held a three-pointer in the second quarter.  He also had four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Washington-native Avery Bradley had five points, missing only one of his three shots attempted.  Two-time NBA champion Danny Green had a three-pointer at the beginning of the game while JaVale McGee had just two points.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was held scoreless as he played the most minutes off the bench while the Clippers went into halftime with a 62 to 54 advantage.

The Clippers would still impress in the second half as they shot forty-six percent from the field while the Lakers shot forty-one percent.  Leonard added 10 more points to his scoring total but only shot twenty-five percent from the field.  Leonard also recorded three more rebounds, two more assists, and two steals while Williams helped out with eight points.  Montrezl Harrell played eighteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points.

As for the Lakers, Danny Green got extremely hot for twenty-five points as he missed only one shot out of the ten taken.  He also had six three-pointers and four rebounds.  Anthony Davis and LeBron James disappeared in the second half as they went for a combined eleven points.  Caldwell-Pope was still held scoreless off of the bench as the Los Angeles Clippers spoiled Davis’ Laker debut, 112-102.  Kawhi Leonard finished the game with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Danny Green had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Clippers will battle Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. at the new Chase Center.  The Los Angeles Lakers will host Mike Conley and the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center on Friday at 10:30 p.m.

The Denver Nuggets survive the Toronto Raptors, 106-103

The Denver Nuggets survive the Toronto Raptors, 106-103

The Toronto Raptors not only the hottest team in the East but they are also the best team in the league right now, grasping a 20-4 record.  The only teams they have fallen to were the Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, Detroit Pistons, and Boston Celtics.  They will look grab their ninth straight victory as they host the Denver Nuggets.  If they do so, this will tie their all-time longest winning streak which they set last season.

The Denver Nuggets, on the other hand, are hoping to earn their sixth straight win, coming fresh off of a close 113-112 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.  The Nuggets and the Raptors have seen each other a grand total of 44 times in the past as the Nuggets won 26 games while the Raptors were kept to just 18 games.  This game will mark the first of two times that these two ball clubs will face each other during this season.  Last season, these teams split the season series at one apiece.  Both teams will look to set the tone tonight.

INACTIVES:

Denver Nuggets:

-Will Barton (hip/core; 16.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 57.1 FG%, 55.6 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Michael Porter (back)
-Isaiah Thomas (hip)
-Jarred Vanderbilt (foot)
-Brandon Goodwin (coach’s decision)
-Tyler Lydon (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.0 APG, 75.0 FG%, 75.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (G-League; 1.2 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 30.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-Thomas Welsh (G-League; 1.3 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.5 APG, 66.7 FG%, 50.0 3P%)

Toronto Raptors:

-Lorenzo Brown (coach’s decision; 2.7 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, 37.8 FG%, 22.7 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Greg Monroe (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 51.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-Malachi Richardson (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.0 APG, 27.8 FG%, 26.7 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
-Jordon Loyd (G-League; 4.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 100.0 FG%, 100.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Norman Powell (shoulder; 5.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 47.6 FG%, 40.9 3P%, 75.0 FT%)
-Chris Boucher (G-League; 4.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 25.0 3P%, 66.7 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The Denver Nuggets would have complete control in the first half as they shot fifty percent from the field, limiting the home team to forty-three percent.  Nikola Jokic chalked up fourteen points while grabbing five rebounds and dishing off ten assists.  Jamal Murray helped out with twelve points as he was able to drill two three-pointers in the process.  Juan Hernangomez earned himself seven points which included a trey early in the first period.  Malik Beasley played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight points including two three-pointers in the second quarter.

As for the Canada team, former San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard got hot for sixteen points on sixty percent shooting.  He also had four defensive rebounds and two assists while Pascal Siakam chipped in eight points.  Kyle Lowry, who is averaging fifteen points a game this season, was held scoreless in the eighteen minutes that he played.  Danny Green had a three-pointer early in the first quarter while Serge Ibaka collected five points, two rebounds, one assist, and one block.  Jonas Valanciunas played ten minutes off the bench as he scored six points while the Nuggets went into halftime with a commanding 59 to 47 lead.

The best team in the league would bounce back, though, as they sparked a 56 to 47 run, shooting forty-nine percent from the field.  During that run, Leonard added eleven more points to his scoring total, including a three-pointer midway through the third period.  Ibaka earned ten more points, along with three defensive rebounds and one assist.  Lowry would still struggle as he was only able to hit a three-pointer and two free throws, ending the game with five points.  Fred VanVleet played the most minutes off the bench but was kept scoreless.

On the other end of the court, both Murray and Jokic scored nine points each.  Murray would go on to collect three defensive rebounds and three assists while Nikola Jokic had six rebounds, five assists, and two steals.  Paul Millsap would only have two points, ending the game with six total.  Beasley played fourteen minutes off the bench as he had seven points which held a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.

DOWN-TO-THE-WIRE:

With only forty-one seconds left, the Raptors would have a 101-100 lead.  Nikola Jokic knocked down a twelve-foot jump shot with forty seconds left to put the Denver team up by one.  After a missed two-pointer and a missed three-pointer by Danny Green, the Raptors would have no choice but to foul after Juan Hernangomez grabs the defensive rebound.  He would make his second free throw after missing the first one, giving the visiting team a 103-101 lead.

Coming out of a timeout with only seven seconds left in regulation, Kawhi Leonard would drill a jump shot to tie the game up at 103 apiece.  After a timeout called by the Nuggets, Serge Ibaka ended up committing a costly foul away from the ball, sending Jokic to the charity stripe.  He was able to knock down his free-throw, giving them another lead.  Once they got the ball back, Leonard would commit the intentional foul, sending Nikola Jokic right back to the line.  He was able to knock down both of his free throws.  With time running out, Kyle Lowry would be forced to attempt a pull-up three-pointer but would not make it as the Denver Nuggets hold on to be the Toronto Raptors, 106 to 103.

FINAL RESULTS:

Nikola Jokic finished the competition with twenty-three points, eleven rebounds, fifteen assists, and two steals while Malik Beasley had fifteen points, two rebounds, and one assist off the bench.  Kawhi Leonard had twenty-seven points, eight rebounds, and two assists while Delon Wright scored nine points off the bench, as well grabbing three rebounds, dishing off two assists, and committing two steals.

So…what’s next?

The Denver Nuggets will travel down to Florida to take on Nikola Vucevic (21.0 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, 55.3 FG%, 40.9 3P%) and the Orlando Magic (11-12) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  This will mark the second and final time that these teams will see each other this season.  The last time they played each other was on November 23 when the Nuggets handed the Orlando team a 112 to 87 loss.  During that game, Trey Lyles scored twenty-two points, grabbed two rebounds, and dished off one assist while Terrence Ross finished with eighteen points and one assist.

The Toronto Raptors will host Joel Embiid (27.0 PPG, 13.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, 46.8 FG%, 30.1 3P%) and the Philadelphia 76ers (17-8) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  The matchup will mark the second of four times that these two teams will meet up this season.  The last time they saw each other was on October 30 when the Canada team escaped with a 129-112 win.  Kawhi Leonard finished that game with thirty-one points, seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals while Joel Embiid had thirty-one points, eleven rebounds, four assists, and one block.

The Cleveland Cavaliers complete the sweep against the Toronto Raptors as they win, 128-93

The Cleveland Cavaliers complete the sweep against the Toronto Raptors as they win, 128-93

The Toronto Raptors are on the verge of getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers as tonight marks the fourth game in their playoff series.  If that happens, it will be the second straight time that the Cavaliers sweep the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.  The odds will be against the Raptors as they have to face the Cavaliers and their fans at the Quicken Loans Arena.

SERIES RECAP:

The first game of this series took place on May 1 when the Cavaliers pulled out a 113-112 overtime victory over the Raptors in Canada.  During that game, LeBron James scored twenty-six points, grabbed eleven rebounds, dished off thirteen assists, committed one steal, and blocked two shots while DeMar DeRozan finished with twenty-two points, seven rebounds, five assists, one steal, and three blocks.

The second meeting was held on May 3 as the Toronto Raptors fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-128.  That matchup was also played at the Air Canada Centre as LeBron James recorded forty-three points in that game, along with eight rebounds, fourteen assists, and one steal.  DeMar DeRozan settled for only twenty-four points and three assists.

The series would shift over to Cleveland, Ohio, as the third game was played on May 5.  The home team would sneak away with a 105-103 win, thanks to the buzzer-beating floater made by LeBron James.  During that game, though, LeBron James had thirty-eight points, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and one block while Kyle Lowry scored twenty-seven points, grabbed three rebounds, dished off seven assists, and committed two steals.

INACTIVES:

Toronto Raptors:

Malachi Richardson (3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 53.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%)

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Rodney Hood (coach’s decision; 14.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 42.9 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Okaro White (3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
Kendrick Perkins (3.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Cleveland Cavaliers would have complete control of the game in the first half as they shot sixty-two percent from the field, limiting the Toronto Raptors to fifty-one percent.  J.R. Smith got hot for fifteen points as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He also connected for three three-pointers while Kyle Korver contributed with thirteen points.  Korver also had three three-pointers as he shot eighty-three percent from the field.  Kevin Love saw to it that he got eleven points while recording two defensive rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.  LeBron James scored only ten points in the twenty-three minutes that he played but did manage to chalk up six defensive rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.  Jeff Green played the most minutes off the bench but was held scoreless.

As for the home team, Jonas Valanciunas dropped ten points off the bench as he shot a high sixty-three percent from the field.  DeMar DeRozan earned himself nine points and five rebounds while four-time All-Star Kyle Lowry scored five points with a three-pointer early in the first quarter.  He also had four defensive rebounds and seven rebounds while C.J. Miles chalked up six points.  Former Oklahoma City Thunder center Serge Ibaka scored eight points which included two three-pointers.  Fred VanVleet played thirteen minutes off the bench as he received five points but it was the Ohio team who went into halftime with a huge 63-47 advantage.

The home team would close things out in the second half as they went on a 65-46 run, shooting fifty-seven percent from the field.  During that run, LeBron James would heat up for nineteen points while recording two defensive rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block.  Love earned himself twelve points while drilling two three-pointers in the third quarter.  He also had four defensive rebounds while Green contributed with eight points off the bench.  Delon Wright scored ten points off the Toronto bench but it was enough as the Cavaliers hold off the Raptors, 128-93, completing a sweep and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.  LeBron James finished the game with twenty-nine points, eight rebounds, eleven assists, two steals, and one block while Jonas Valanciunas had eighteen points, five rebounds, two assists, and three blocks (tying his playoff career-high).

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

Tonight will mark the second game between the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets in their playoff series.  The first game was on Sunday when the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110 to 96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished off seven assists, and committed one steal while Donovan Mitchell finished with twenty-one points, three rebounds, and five assists.  Jae Crowder also had twenty-one points, along with five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.  The Houston Rockets will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they host the Jazz at the Toyota Center.

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Jonas Jerebko (coach’s decision; 5.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.6 APG, 46.6 FG%, 41.4 3P%)
David Stockton (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Ekpe Udoh (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 59.1 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Aaron Jackson (coach’s decision; 8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Johnson (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 27.6 3P%)
Zhou Qi (1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 18.8 FG%, 10.5 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Utah Jazz would have complete control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, limiting the Houston Rockets to forty percent.  Joe Ingles ended up scoring fourteen points on sixty-three percent shooting while knocking down four three-pointers in the process.  Rudy Gobert would help out with thirteen points while grabbing one offensive rebound and eight defensive rebounds.  He also had one block while Alec Burks chalked up eleven points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  Donovan Mitchell would be limited to seven points while both Royce O’Neale and Derrick Favors scored six points each.  Jae Crowder played sixteen minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two three-pointers and a free-throw.

On the other end of the court, James Harden would get extremely hot for twenty-one points which included a three-pointer near the end of the second half.  He also had four rebounds, five assists, and one steal while Clint Capela saw to it that he had thirteen points on sixty-seven percent shooting.  Former Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Chris Paul contributed with six points and one assist while P.J. Tucker had a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Eric Gordon played the most minutes off of the bench but was limited to just five points as the visiting team went into halftime with a 64 to 55 lead.

The Houston Rockets would attempt to make a comeback as they went on a 53-52 run in the second half, shooting forty percent from the field.  During that run, Paul would start to warm up with seventeen points, five defensive rebounds, two assists, and two steals while drilling two three-pointers.  Harden continued to put on a scoring display as he had eleven points, which included a three-pointer in the final quarter.  Eric Gordon had ten points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as the Utah Jazz crept away with a 116-108 win, tying the series up, 1-1.  Joe Ingles finished the game with a playoff career-high twenty-seven points, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden settled for thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards with a 108-98 score, taking a 3-2 series lead

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards with a 108-98 score, taking a 3-2 series lead

Tonight’s matchup between the Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors will mark the fifth game in their playoff series.  The first game was on April 14 when the Raptors defeated the Wizards with a 114-106 score.  During that game, Serge Ibaka scored twenty-three points, grabbed twelve rebounds, gave out one assist and blocked two shots while John Wall had twenty-three points, three rebounds, fifteen assists, four steals and two blocks.  The Raptors would also take Game 2 as they pulled out a 130-119 victory.  DeMar DeRozan finished that game with thirty-seven points, five rebounds, and four assists while John Wall had twenty-nine points, four rebounds, nine assists and one block.

The Washington Wizards would make a desperate comeback as they handed the Raptors a 122-103 blowout loss in Game 3.  During that game, Bradley Beal scored twenty-eight points, pulled down four rebounds, dished out four assists and committed three steals.  John Wall also had twenty-eight points, along with seven rebounds, fourteen assists, four steals and one block while DeRozan finished with twenty-three points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block.  Game 4 would also be a victory for the Washington team as they snuck away with a 106 to 98 win.  Beal had thirty-one points in that game, along with five rebounds and two assists while DeRozan had thirty-five points, six rebounds, six assists and one steal.  The Wizards will look to take a 3-2 lead in the series as they travel back to Canada to battle the Raptors for Game 5.

INACTIVES:

Washington Wizards:

Jodie Meeks (suspension; 6.3 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.9 APG, 39.9 FG%, 34.3 3P%)
Tim Frazier (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.3 APG, 39.5 FG%, 30.4 3P%)
Jason Smith (coach’s decision; 3.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 39.1 FG%, 12.5 3P%)
Chris McCullough (2.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.2 APG, 42.9 FG%, 12.5 3P%)
Ramon Sessions (4.9 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, 35.9 FG%, 30.8 3P%)

Toronto Raptors:

Fred VanVleet (shoulder; 8.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.2 APG, 42.6 FG%, 41.4 3P%)
Lorenzo Brown (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 41.2 FG%, 16.7 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (coach’s decision; 1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 53.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Lucas Nogueira (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.4 APG, 61.3 FG%, 26.3 3P%)
Malachi Richardson (3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 30.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The beginning of the game would be somewhat competitive as the Toronto Raptors shot forty-five percent from the field while the Washington Wizards shot thirty-eight percent.  DeMar DeRozan would get extremely hot as he scored twenty points which included two three-pointers.  He also had two assists while Kyle Lowry contributed with seven points which held a three-pointer in the second period.  Lowry had two defensive rebounds and three assists while Jonas Valanciunas earned himself six points, six rebounds, and two blocks.  Meanwhile, Serge Ibaka was kept to just two points on thirty-three percent shooting while OG Anunoby was held scoreless.  California-native Delon Wright played twelve minutes off of the bench as he chalked up seven points.

As for the visiting team, John Wall saw to it that he got twelve points while grabbing five defensive rebounds, dishing off four assists and committing one steal.  Bradley Beal would help out with eight points which included a three-pointer at the end of the second quarter.  Beal also had three defensive rebounds and three assists while Otto Porter threw up seven points on fifty percent shooting.  Kelly Oubre played the most minutes out of Washington’s reserves but was restricted to five points as the Raptors went into halftime with a tight 48 to 47 lead.

The Canada team would close things out in the second half, though, as they sparked up a 60-51 run while shooting forty-eight percent from the field.  In the course of that run, DeRozan received twelve points which carried a three-pointer near the end of the third quarter.  The 20th pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft Delon Wright assisted with eleven points on a high sixty percent shooting.  On the other end of the court, John Wall chalked up fourteen points but that wouldn’t be enough as the Toronto Raptors take a 3-2 series lead with a 108-98 victory.  DeMar DeRozan finished the game with thirty-two points, two rebounds, and five assists while John Wall had twenty-six points, nine rebounds, nine assists, one steal and three blocks.

The Raptors extend their winning streak to six as they take down the Heat, 115-112

The Raptors extend their winning streak to six as they take down the Heat, 115-112

The Toronto Raptors have been playing with a lot of confidence lately as they currently have the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, holding onto a 39-16 record.  They will hope to grab their sixth straight win as they host the Miami Heat in Canada, who are coming fresh off of a five-game losing streak.  This meeting between these two ball clubs will mark the second of three times that they will play each other this season.

The Raptors and the Heat have battled each other a grand total of 87 times as the Heat won 54 games while the Raptors were limited to just 33 wins.  The last time they met up was on January 9 when the Miami team snuck away with a 90 to 89 victory.  During that game, Goran Dragic scored 24 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot while DeMar DeRozan finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists.

INACTIVES:

Miami Heat:

Rodney McGruder (leg)
Kelly Olynyk (shoulder; 11.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 49.5 FG%, 36.8 3P%)
Dion Waiters (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 39.8 FG%, 30.6 3P%)
Luke Babbitt (coach’s decision; 6.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.7 APG, 47.6 FG%, 44.1 3P%)
Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 0.6 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 40.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Jordan Mickey (coach’s decision; 4.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.5 APG, 47.8 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Derrick Jones (G-League; 3.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.5 APG, 38.6 FG%, 13.3 3P%)
Derrick Walton (G-League; 1.9 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 33.3 FG%, 41.2 3P%)

Toronto Raptors:

Lucas Nogueira (coach’s decision; 2.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 59.0 FG%, 21.4 3P%
Lorenzo Brown (G-League; 1.2 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Malcolm Miller (G-League; 2.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Malachi Richardson (G-League; 3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (G-League; 1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 50.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The game would start very competitve as the Heat shot fifty-five percent from the field while Canada team ended up shooting fifty percent.  Wayne Ellington would knock down 3 three-pointers in the second quarter as he grabbed three rebounds.  The 2016 NBA leader in blocks Hassan Whiteside would contribute with eight points while shooting fifty-seven percent from the field.  He also had 7 rebounds and one steal while Dwyane Wade had six points off of the bench.  Goran Dragic ended up scoring seven points but only shot thirty-eight percent from the field.  James Johnson played 17 minutes off of the bench as he had eleven points.

As for the Raptors, Kyle Lowry poured 13 points on the court while knocking two three-pointers down in the second quarter.  He also had two defensive rebounds and six assists while DeMar DeRozan earned himself seven points on thirty-three percent shooting.  Serge Ibaka helped out with seven points, as well, along with four defensive rebounds while Jonas Valanciunas had six points.  Former Utah Jazz player C.J. Miles played the most minutes off of the bench to get hot for ten points as the Raptors went into halftime with a 57 to 55 lead.

The home team would close things out of the second half as they went on a 61 to 57 run, shooting forty-five percent from the field.  During that run, DeRozan lit the floor up with 20 points which included a three-pointer in the middle of the third period.  He also had two rebounds and three assists while Lowry added to his scoring total by chalking up 12 more points.  Lowry earned nine of those points from beyond the arc while Ibaka had 7 points and 6 rebounds.  Dragic, on the other end, got extremely hot for 21 points but it wasn’t enough as the Raptors hold the Heat off, 115 to 112.  DeMar DeRozan finished the game with 27 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal while Goran Dragic had 28 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The Miami Heat will travel to Pennsylvania to battle Joel Embiid (23.7 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 3.1 APG, 49 FG%) and the Philadelphia 76ers (29-25) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  This meeting will mark the second of four times that they will clashed with each other this season.  The 76ers and the Heat have met up a total of 119 times in the past as the 76ers won 57 games while the Heat went on to win 62 games.  February 2 was the last time they saw each other as the 76ers pulled away with a 103-97 victory.  Ben Simmons finished that game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Kelly Olynyk had 19 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and one block.

The Toronto Raptors will visit the Windy City to take on Zach LaVine (17.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 41 FG%) and the Chicago Bulls (20-36) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This game will mark the fourth and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The Raptors and the Bulls have battled each other a grand total of 84 times as the Raptors won 36 games while the Bulls went on to pull out 48 victories.  The last time they played each other was on January 3 when the Raptors handed the Bulls a 124-115 loss.  During that game, DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished out 6 assists, and committed 3 steals while Justin Holiday had 26 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal.

The Hawks sneak away with a 117-115 win over the Cavaliers

The Hawks sneak away with a 117-115 win over the Cavaliers

Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks are dealing with their own struggles as the Cavaliers are still recovering from a difficult four-game losing streak.  The Hawks, on the other hand, are currently in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, their longest losing streak since the 2013-2014 season.  Obviously, winning this game in Cleveland against the Cavaliers would be a huge deal for them.

For this game, the Cavaliers would still be without Isaiah Thomas (hip), along with Iman Shumpert (knee; 6.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.0 APG), John Holland (G-League), Tristan Thompson (calf; 4.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.4 APG), London Perrantes (G-League), and Jose Calderon (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.7 APG).  The Atlanta Hawks were without Ersan Ilyasova (knee; 5.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.8 APG), Josh Magette (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 0.2 RPG, 0.6 APG), Miles Plumlee (quadricep), Mike Muscala (ankle; 6.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.0 APG), DeAndre’ Bembry (wrist; 6.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.0 APG), Nicolas Brussino (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG), Malcolm Delaney (coach’s decision; 5.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.5 APG), and Tyler Dorsey (coach decision; 2.0 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.2 APG).

The Hawks would start the game off right as they shoot a high seventy-two percent from the field, keeping the Cavaliers at thirty-five percent.  Former Heat forward Luke Babbitt scored eight points in the first quarter with six coming from beyond the three-point line.  Kent Bazemore collected seven points in the twelve minutes that he played, six coming from beyond the arc and the other point from the free-throw line.  He also gathered up one offensive rebound and three defensive rebounds while Dewayne Dedmon shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field to earn himself six points.  He also had two defensive rebounds while Dennis Schroder received seven points to go along with the seven assists.

Dwyane Wade would warm up as he scores eight points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field. LeBron James contributed with six points, two offensive rebounds, and four assists as he played for the entire quarter. Rose shot only seventeen percent from the field while he received four points in return. J.R. Smith was able to knock down a three-pointer but it was the Atlanta team who went into the second period with a 37-28 advantage.

Both teams held it close in the next quarter as the Cavs shot twenty-five percent from the field and the Hawks shot twenty-four percent. Wade would continue to stay hot as he chalks up eleven more points, three coming from behind the arc and four from the charity stripe. He also collected six rebounds while James was kept scoreless in the seven minutes that he played. Love was held to two points but he would get his hands on three rebounds.

On the other end of the court, Isaiah Taylor came off of the bench to deliver six points while Taurean Prince four points and four defensive rebounds. Babbitt played for ten minutes just to be held to three points and two defensive rebounds. John Collins just limited to two points but he would manage to pull down six rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks went into halftime with a 54-45 lead.

The third quarter would still be kept close as the Cavs shot sixty-one percent from the field while the Georgia team shot fifty-six percent. Dennis Schroder would light the floor up with thirteen points while shooting eighty-three percent from the field. He knocked down a three-pointer in the process while collecting two defensive rebounds. Prince contributed with eight points with six coming from beyond the arc. Luke Babbitt was limited to just a three-pointer in the ten minutes he played.

As for the Ohio team, LeBron James would warm up with ten points as he shot sixty-seven percent from the field. He dished off four assists while Channing Frye contributed with seven points, earning three of them from behind the arc.  Frye also collected four defensive rebounds while Jae Crowder shot one-hundred percent from the field, earning four points.  Smith was held scoreless while dishing off three assists but it was still the Hawks who ended the third quarter with a 91 to 78 advantage.

The Cavaliers ended up coming back in the fourth quarter as they went on a 37 to 26 run, shooting fifty-four percent from the field while holding the Hawks to forty-five percent.  Kyle Korver got extremely hot as he lit the floor with nineteen points on seventy-eight percent shooting.  He earned fifteen of them from beyond the arc while grabbing two rebounds.  James scored ten points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He did that while grabbing two defensive rebounds, dishing off five assists, committing one steal and blocking one shot.  Wade would be held to just two points in the twelve minutes he played but did manage to grab four rebounds and give out five assists.

As for the Hawks, Schroder chalked up eight points while Bazemore delivered five points, two rebounds, and two assists.  Rookie John Collins ended up with five points, as well, along with two offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds.  The game would come down to the wire but it was still the Atlanta Hawks who escaped with a 117-115 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Dennis Schroder finished with twenty-eight points, three rebounds, and nine assists.  LeBron James would finish with twenty-six points, five rebounds, thirteen assists, one steal, and two blocks.

The Memphis Grizzlies hand the Los Angeles Clippers a 113-104 blowout loss

The Memphis Grizzlies hand the Los Angeles Clippers a 113-104 blowout loss

The Memphis Grizzlies would hope to avoid a three-game losing streak as they visited California to take on the Clippers at the Staples Center.  Mike Conley and Marc Gasol decided to suit up for this game while the Grizzlies would be without Wayne Selden (quadricep), Andrew Harrison (coach’s decision), Deyonta Davis (coach’s decision), JaMychal Green (foot/ankle), Kobi Simmons (G-League), Ivan Rabb (G-League), Ben McLemore (G-League), and Vincent Hunter (G-League).  The Clippers were without Jawun Evans (coach’s decision), Sam Dekker (coach’s decision), Milos Teodosic (foot), C.J. Williams (G-League), Brice Johnson (G-League), and Jamil Wilson (G-League).

The first quarter would be held close as the Grizzlies shot forty-four percent while the Clippers would shoot forty percent.  Mike Conley ended up scoring eight points while shooting forty-three percent from the field.  Marc Gasol played for ten minutes but was limited to just six points while he gobbled up three defensive rebounds.  James Ennis shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  Chandler Parsons came off of the bench to put up four points while Brandan Wright scored two points off of the bench.

As for the Clippers, Blake Griffin warmed up with ten points while shooting sixty percent from the field.  Three of those points came from beyond the arc as he collected two offensive rebounds, one defensive rebound, one assist, and one steal.  Austin Rivers contributed to five points while knocking down a three-pointer in the process.  Patrick Beverley chalked up five points to go along with his three rebounds while Danilo Gallinari collected two defensive rebounds.  DeAndre Jordan was held scoreless in the ten minutes that he played but managed to grab four rebounds as the Memphis team ended the first quarter with a tight 27 to 25 lead.

The Los Angeles Clippers would try to respond in the next period as they shot fifty-eight percent from the field while holding the Grizzlies to forty-eight percent.  Gallinari ended up posting up six points on sixty-seven percent shooting from the field.  Beverley would also collect six points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  Former Lakers’ Lou Williams contributed with six points, as well, while Griffin scored five points to go along with the three defensive rebounds he grabbed.

On the other end of the court, Mario Chalmers would come off of the Memphis bench to record nine points while shooting eighty percent from the field.  Tyreke Evans also came off the bench to deliver seven points while hitting a three-pointer in the process.  Mike Conley would knock down a three-pointer and two free-throws while Gasol was kept scoreless in the six minutes that he played.  Even though the Clippers showed signs of life, the Grizzlies still had a 60-56 lead heading into halftime.

The third quarter was kept close as the Clippers shot forty-eight percent from the field while the Memphis Grizzlies shot forty-seven percent.  Evans continued to contribute to the Memphis lead as he chalked up nine points, three from behind the arc and the other six from the free-throw line.  Blake Griffin would also help out as he recorded nine points of his own.  Jordan played nine minutes as he scored six points and pulled down three offensive rebounds.  Gasol ended up scoring six points which would include one three-pointer while Mike Conley was held to five points, including one three-pointer.  Dillon Brooks had three defensive rebounds while Patrick Beverley had two defensive rebounds as the Grizzlies maintained an 87 to 80 lead at the end of the third.

The visiting team closed things out in the last period as they shot forty-seven percent from the field while holding the Clippers to thirty-nine percent.  Patrick Beverley warmed up with ten points on fifty percent shooting from the field.  Griffin had three defensive rebounds and six points while Brandan Wright had two defensive rebounds.  Gasol scored nine more additional points, three coming from beyond the arc and four from the charity stripe.  Conley had four points in the closing quarter as the Memphis Grizzlies escaped with a 113 to 104 victory over the Clippers.  Conley finished with twenty-two points, one rebound, three assists and one steal while Griffin ended up with thirty points, eleven rebounds, two assists and two steals.