Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sports

Cavs roll past Raptors to open East final

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CLEVELAND — LeBron James hardly missed and scored 24 in three quarters, Kyrie Irving scored 27 and the Cavaliers picked up where they left off before a long layoff by thumping the Raptors 115-84 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final on Tuesday night.

James made his first nine shots — one a powerhouse dunk — and the Cavs shot 67 percent in the first half while improving to 9-0 this postseason. Cleveland is the first team to start the playoffs with nine straight wins since San Antonio had 10 in a row in 2012.

But unlike their second-round series when they made 77 3-pointers and swept Atlanta, the Cavs did most of their damage from close range. Cleveland made just 7 of 20 3-pointers.

DeMar DeRozan scored 18 and Bismack Biyombo added 12 for Toronto.

"We had a couple of mistakes, but the attention to detail was there,'' James said. "We have to continue that in Game 2.''

The Raptors were slighted in an online poll before the game. CBSSports.com ran a survey, "Who will win the NBA title?" The options: Warriors, Thunder, Cavaliers, Other. Toronto fans responded on Twitter with hashtag WeTheOther, playing off the team's "We the North" campaign.

SIXERS WIN DRAFT LOTTERY: The 76ers won the draft lottery held in New York and will have the No. 1 pick on June 23.

The Lakers finished second but also felt like winners, as they would have dealt their pick to Philadelphia had they fallen out of the top three. The Celtics, with a pick dealt to them by the Nets, remained in the No. 3 slot.

LSU's Ben Simmons and Duke's Brandon Ingram are favorites for the top two picks.

Nobody moved up in the lottery, which sets the top three picks. The remainder of the 14 teams are slotted in the inverse order of their won-loss record. For the draft order, see For The Record on page 2C.

The 76ers would have garnered another top-five selection had the Lakers tumbled a couple of spots, since they would have been entitled to the pick the Lakers dealt to Phoenix for Steve Nash that the 76ers later traded for.

Former 76ers center Dikembe Mutombo tweeted congratulations about four hours early. He said he had a tweet ready to go and accidentally sent it too soon.

LATE MONDAY: Outside his locker room, first-year Thunder coach Billy Donovan received a round of handshakes and hugs for pulling off something no other team has this postseason.

The Thunder beat the defending champs at Oracle Arena.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City dazzled in the fourth quarter the way the Warriors have done so many times this season, rallying from 14 down for a 108-102 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Monday night.

"You have to have a mind-set coming into these kinds of venues. Our guys, I think they understand what they're walking into," said Donovan, a longtime Gators coach before he was hired by Oklahoma City. "You don't just walk in here say, 'Oh, everything's going to be okay.' You have to have a mind-set to understand. The first thing is to embrace the fact it's going to be hard."

Durant scored 26 and made a key 17-foot jumper with 30.7 seconds left, while Westbrook scored 24 of his 27 points in the second half.

"We just stayed with it on the defensive end and when we got the shots late in the game we were able to focus in and knock them down," Durant said.

Stephen Curry had 26 points and a playoff career-high 10 rebounds for Golden State, but the Warriors' 42 second-half points and 14 in the fourth both were lows for this postseason.

"We got rushed and tried to go for the home-run plays," Curry said. "We got out of character."

Tuesday, the NBA acknowledged that officials missed a key call. When told that the league said Westbrook dragged his pivot foot before calling a timeout with 17.2 seconds to play and Oklahoma City leading by three, Golden State coach Steve Kerr said sarcastically: "Yes! Yes! Yes, that's awesome."

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The Magic interviewed Adrian Griffin for its coaching position. Griffin, 41, is Orlando's lead assistant coach. The Magic also has reached out to fired Pacers coach Frank Vogel.

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