Live From The ACC: Raptors vs LeBron, Game 1
Crying LeBron signs for $5 outside Gate 2.
The Cavs played a Game 7 2 days ago. The Raptors are coming off 3 days’ rest. If there is such a thing as a must-win Game 1, this is it. Game Time approaches. It’s already loud in here.
10–4 Raptors run to start things off! LeBron is already pissed with his teammates after nobody helped him on a Lowry drive for a layup in semi-transition.
End of Q1: Raps 33, Cavs 19
JV messed up the early flow with 2 very similar charges. One day he’ll learn.
All the other Raptors played well. Siakam hit a 3 on his first shot and the place exploded. DeRozan has 11 points and Lowry has nailed a couple of 3's.
LeBron made some nice plays but he is all alone out there. Kevin Love is strangely uninvolved on offense. Maybe it’s the thumb injury.
Delon Wright with some shaky play. Miles hits a 3, VanVleet plays well. He got switched onto LeBron once, which looked like it could be trouble. Luckily Jordan Clarkson decided to go for a wild drive instead of passing it to LeBron, which he missed horribly. Raps lead 44–32, Cavs timeout.
Fred Van Vleet gets tangled with LeBron, Lowry gets in between and Fred acts like he really wants it with Bron. Come on now. Of course the crowd loves it and breaks into a “Freddy” chant.
JR Smith and Jeff Green step up. Cleveland makes a run. LeBron is settling into a scary groove bending the defense and getting his role players looks.
This is not going to be easy. The Cavs cut into the lead and hopefully this halftime slows down their momentum. My nerves are wracked.
Jack Armstrong and Matt Devlin are in a Keg commercial. It ends with Jack saying their slogan “why not tonight?” like “Hello!” It’s weird but delightful.
Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan teamed up for a mental health PSA. That’s cool. The NBA continues to be on the cutting edge of PSA’s.
Kevin Love can’t hold JV down low. He should be getting the ball even more than he is, and he’s seeing a lot of it already. Lowry shakes loose for a 3 and Cleveland calls timeout. 72 –61 Raps early in the 3rd.
JV is killlin em. KILLIN em. They bring in Thompson, the Raps go away from JV. Raps timeout, hopefully to remind the team to pass it to JV. 81–74 Raps.
It was to put Poeltl in for JV. Pascal Siakam takes over from JV terrorizing the Cavs. Scores off cuts, a nifty layup in the halfcourt, and knocks the ball away from Clarkson and out of bounds late in the shot clock.
Korver’s shooting keeps the Cavs in it as LeBron rests to end the quarter. When he checks back in, it’s winning time.
End of Q3: Raps 87, Cavs 82
LeBron starts the 4th. No messing around.
CJ Miles can’t guard Kevin Love. Casey takes a timeout to figure that out. 94–89 Raps. With Thompson, Love and LeBron up front, CJ had nowhere to hide.
Casey puts DeRozan on Love instead?! This is not good. He finally brings Ibaka in. LeBron nails a 3 to pull to 100–99. DeRozan answers with a layup after getting mauled on the inbounds pass. Cavs timeout, 102–99 Raps with 4:18 to play. It’s getting intense!
JV misses 3 bunnies on one play. Ugh. Tristan Kardashian makes a pair of free throws while the crowd chants “Khloe”. 102–101 Raps, 3:12 to play.
Serge gets fouled on a 3 and makes them all. DeRozan gets elbowed in the face and they didn’t even look at it for a flagrant foul. The Raps throw it to Lowry in the backcourt with 5 seconds on the shot clock. Why? Obviously they had to throw up a dogshit brick. LeBron hits an insane turnaround in OG’s face. Tied at 105. 18 seconds.
The Raps miss 3 or 4 shots at the rim. Charles Smith-esque. 0.6 seconds, Cavs ball. Don’t lose in this tiny amount of time!!
LeBron almost Derek Fisher’d us.
End of Q4: Tied at 105
Overtime. Korver and JR Smith hit a couple of threes. 111–107 Cavs, 2:47 to play.
Cavs up 113–112, the Raps force a miss and then fumble the rebound away out of bounds. What a screwup. Under 40 seconds, need a stop and a score.
DeRozan forces a LeBron airball! 16 seconds left. Biggest play of the year coming up.
A contested 3 by VanVleet despite time left on the clock? I’d rather they forced it inside. They were only down 1. There was so much time DeRozan gets called for a foul as the ball bounces away and time is put back on the clock for a final meaningless inbounds play. What a horrendous way to lose.
Final: Cavs 113, Raps 112
The Raptors led this entire game and choked it away at the end. Yeah, LeBron is great, but the Raptors have got to be better than they were in the late 4th quarter and overtime. JV has got to continue to finish or get fouled at the end of games like he did in the first 3 quarters.
Hopefully in Game 2 they’ll bounce back from this choke job.
I join all Raptor fans in sheer terror of LeBron. He had a monster triple double and dominated when he wanted to: