Sun, Apr 29, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Raptors and Jazz advance

TO THE WIRE:The Pacers refusing to accept defeat forced the Cavs to Game 7 with a ferocious effort that left LeBron’s forehead bloodied and sent Love off the court

AFP, LOS ANGELES

Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors, right, defends against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook during Game 6 of their first-round playoff series on Friday in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Photo: AP

The Toronto Raptors on Friday punched their ticket to the second round of the playoffs for the third straight season with a 102-92 victory over the Washington Wizards.

With 24 points from Kyle Lowry and a big contribution from their reserves, the Raptors notched the first road win of their Eastern Conference first-round series to eliminate the Wizards 4-2.

DeMar DeRozan added 16 points and Jonas Valanciunas chipped in 14 for Toronto, who trailed by five going into the fourth quarter, but out-scored the flagging Wizards 29-14 in the final period.

The Raptors’ bench was crucial to the comeback. Toronto’s reserves out-scored Washington’s bench 21-6 in the second half while out-rebounding them 15-3.

“Our bench did a great job,” Lowry said. “I played 31 minutes. DeMar played 33. In a playoff game, a closeout game, you would never think your stars could do that, but that’s how our team is built.”

Backup Forward Pascal Siakam made his first five shots, racking up 11 points and eight rebounds.

Reserve point guard Fred VanVleet, limited by a shoulder injury earlier in the series, scored just five points, but Raptors coach Dwane Casey said his presence was key.

“He’s the engine, the toughness, that little birdie on the shoulder,” Casey said.

The Raptors next face either the Cavaliers or the Pacers.

JAZZ 96, THUNDER 91

Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 38 points to help the Utah Jazz eliminate a star-studded Oklahoma City Thunder roster in their Western Conference series in six games.

Derrick Favors scored 13 points and Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz, who lost starting guard Ricky Rubio with a hamstring injury in the first quarter.

Russell Westbrook had 46 points for the Thunder and Steven Adams tallied 19 points and 16 rebounds.

“Our team did a good job of sticking together. We got some shots at the end of the game we just weren’t able to get the one we needed,” Westbrook said.

The Thunder had tried to retool their roster this season around Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, but it was a disappointing ending to the rebuild. George had just five points and Anthony seven on Friday.

Westbrook got into an brief verbal altercation with a fan at the end of the game. Westbrook stopped and tried to slap the fan’s camera away before security stepped in to escort him to the dressing room.

“I don’t confront fans, fans confront me,” Westbrook said.

The Jazz are to square off against the Houston Rockets in the first game of their series today.

PACERS 121, CAVALIERS 87

In Indianapolis, Victor Oladipo finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his first playoff triple-double as the Pacers leveled the series with the Cavaliers at 3-3.

If they win in today’s winner-take-all showdown in Cleveland, they will get a chance to advance to the next round.

“It was a big win for us. Now we’ve got to go get Sunday,” Oladipo said. “We got to leave it all out there — win or go home. Speaks for itself.”

The Pacers, who were on the wrong end of a missed goaltending call in Game 5, lowered the boom in this one.

Thaddeus Young floored LeBron James with an elbow, opening a cut above the future hall of famer’s left eye. Cleveland’s Kevin Love left the contest in the third quarter after colliding with Myles Turner.

James led the Cavs with 22 points and seven assists. With the game out of hand, he sat out all of the fourth quarter.

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