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.
No other Cavs player scored more than 13 points, while the Pacers’ balanced attack saw seven players score in double figures.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017