Game 1 between the Nets and Raptors showed plenty of bad blood between the clubs. Techs, chippy fouls and YOLO shots with Drake in attendance made the match resemble Tyrone Hill for about 40 minutes. Deron Williams played like All Star Deron with his early scoring barrage. Joe Johnson’s 24 points, largely on mismatches and floaters, helped his team withstand Toronto’s best punches. Those hits oftentimes involved Kyle Lowry in some form with his 22 points, seven boards and eight dimes. Then, Paul Pierce came alive late with 9 big points in the fourth quarter and gave the basketball world another reason to hate him.
Toronto has the rebounding game in the bag but they really needs to mind two keys to their loss: turnovers and DeMar Derozan’s milk carton act. They uncharacteristically gave up possession 19 times in comparison to the Nets’ 9. Plus Derozan’s 3-13 hell game came largely in part of Nets’ hounding him into tough shots. Said factors necessitated the Nets need for this particular 94-87 away win. Game 2 should have a different complexity as this ought to be a long series.
Game 2: Tue. April 22, Brooklyn at Toronto, 8 p.m., NBA TV
The moment seedings were confirmed Warriors/Clippers was the series every fan circled as the must-watch tussle from the first round. Through Game 1, they’re more than living up to the hype.
Back and forth it went, the Clippers and Warriors exchanging leads all afternoon. Golden State’s fourth quarter double digit lead evaporated to a tie in the game’s waning moments. In the clutch, with Blake Griffin sitting on the, Chris Paul went from potential hero to goat after missing two crucial free throws late, negating much of the great play that he had put in all game (28 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and four steals). Despite missing a few critical free throws late of their own, the Warriors won, 109-105.
Game 2: Mon. April 21, Golden State at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m., TNT