New York, April 18: The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics are one step closer to moving on in the NBA playoffs after a pair of comfortable home wins on Tuesday (April 17).
The Raptors jumped out to an early 17-point first-quarter lead and never looked back, beating the Wizards 130-119 in Toronto to take a 2-0 series lead as the matchup switches to Washington.
DeMar DeRozan matched a career playoff-high with 37 points and Jonas Valanciunas had strong 19-point, 14-rebound double-double as the Raptors took a two-game lead for the first time in franchise history. Toronto also set team playoff records for points in a quarter, a half, and a game.
The Milwaukee Bucks could not take advantage of the injury-riddled Celtics despite solid games from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton in a 120-106 loss.
The two Bucks combined for 55 points but the Bucks bench registered a combined minus-36 and were outscored by 16 as Boston's balanced offensive attack shined through again with six players in double-figures, led by Jaylen Brown's 30.
The Bucks lost despite shooting 59 per cent from the field and 41 per cent from beyond the arc. They will look to improve on 15 turnovers and 10 missed free-throws as the series moves to Milwaukee.
Celtics point guard Terry Rozier forced Eric Bledsoe's hand for a second consecutive game. In game one, Bledsoe scored just nine points on four-of-12 shooting and turned the ball over five times with just four assists. Tuesday's game he was not much better offensively with Rozier guarding him the majority of the game en route to 12 points on five-of-13 shooting in 34 minutes.
Rozier scored 23 with eight assists while registering a plus-19 on Tuesday and has not turned the ball over thus far in the series (78 minutes).
Wizards guard Bradley Beal missed eight of his 11 shots and finished with nine points with a point differential of minus-34. He had more fouls in the first half (three) than made shots (two).
Brown delivered a monster dunk.
Toronto Raptors 130-119 Washington Wizards
Boston Celtics 120-106 Milwaukee Bucks
New Orleans Pelicans 111-102 Portland Trail Blazers
PACERS AT CAVALIERS
LeBron James and the Cavs lost 98-80 in game one after Indiana outscored them 33-14 in the first quarter. Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 32 points, six rebounds and four assists to snap James' streak of 21 straight first-round playoff victories.
Cavs role players will need to step up in game two after no-one else in the starting lineup besides James scored more than nine points on Sunday (April 15).