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NBA Playoffs: The Cavs let the Raptors believe in Game 1... for about four minutes

Toronto pulled within two in the second quarter, and that was as close as they would get.

Toronto Raptors v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Maybe this Game 1 was going to be different. Yes, all signs pointed towards a Cavalier slaying of the Dinos. They had just had a week off to prepare for a Toronto Raptors team that slogged out a six-game win against the future East-leading Bucks.

Knowing this team’s history in Game 1s and with the odds stacked against them, I had a belief that somehow the stars would align for a Raptor win. And somehow in the second quarter, for a four minute stretch, the dream seemed like a possible reality.

This, after somehow weathering the initial storm following LEBRON WITH NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE:


The Raptors found themselves down 12 entering the second quarter, and needed an immediate push to not make it a laugher by 7:40 Eastern Standard Time.

Thankfully, regular season Kyle Lowry showed up, with this three ball to get the run going. He then found Serge Ibaka on three consecutive possessions. Lowry first drew in a double team of Deron Williams and Channing Frye before lobbing it over to Ibaka who calmly drained a three despite a LeBron closeout. Next trip down he came off a series of baseline screens and once again beat the double team, firing the pass for the mid range jimmy before the help from Shumpert had reached him. The next pass was the most encouraging (albeit not the most pretty) as he was able to get the entry pass over the top to Ibaka, who made another good look. The consistent chemistry on those has yet to show so far in these playoffs, and it’s one positive step the two can take from this game.

Norman Powell and PJ Tucker scored on the ensuing possessions, and a Lowry and-1 finish pulled the Raptors to within two, as they trailed 39-41 following the offensive flurry. Toronto.... was alive.

In an instant though, the Cavs realized they wouldn’t be able to coast all night long (it ended up being about 2.9 quarters of coasting anyway), as JR Smith and Kevin Love promptly knocked down back to back threes. Love posted and roasted on Tucker the next possession to get the lead back to ten, and it was curtains from there.

Raptors fans came into this series with newfound hope and belief that the additions could make a series against the Cavs more competitive, even if the result ended up the same in a loss.

After the performance in Game 1, it’s looking like no matter what the Raptors do, dethroning the King is beyond them.