Blazers search tie vs Pelicans, Raptors intention for uncommon 2-Zero lead

The Portland Trail Blazers fought their approach by way of a pressure-packed playoff race to earn home-court benefit in a collection, then misplaced it in a single sport.

The Toronto Raptors know that downside all too properly, so that they need to reap the benefits of enjoying from forward for a change.

They attempt for his or her first 2-Zero playoff collection lead ever Tuesday evening towards Washington, whereas the Trail Blazers attempt to even issues up in towards the New Orleans Pelicans.

Boston and Milwaukee play the opposite Game 2 on Tuesday after the Celtics pulled out a 113-107 extra time victory on Sunday.

The No. Three Trail Blazers had been the highest-seeded crew to lose to this point, falling 97-95 on Saturday. Anthony Davis was dominant, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum had been slow-starting, and the Pelicans acquired a pair large defensive performs down the stretch from Jrue Holiday to carry on after the Blazers almost got here again from a 19-point deficit.

”I believe it places some stress on us,” Lillard stated. ”You know, you are available with dwelling court docket, the primary two video games in your ground and also you lose the primary one, and now they’re saying of their locker room we acquired one, why not go get one other one. And our job is to defend the house court docket.

”We’ve acquired to tighten up, come again sharper, and care for dwelling ground.”

Toronto had misplaced Game 1 at dwelling all six instances it had home-court benefit in a collection, a part of an general 10-game shedding streak in collection openers, earlier than beating Washington 114-106 dropped on Saturday. Finally, the Raptors might benefit from the begin of postseason play.

”And for me, this 12 months is lastly a 12 months I will be pleased watching different video games and never be like `Damn, I misplaced Game 1,”’ level guard Kyle Lowry stated.

Some issues to learn about Tuesday’s matchups:


Toronto leads 1-Zero. Game 2, 7 P.M., NBA TV.

NEED TO KNOW: Toronto’s solely different 1-Zero collection lead was within the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals towards Philadelphia, which received Game 2 and finally the collection in seven video games.

KEEP AN EYE ON: The Three-point line. The Raptors made a franchise-record 16 within the opener, twice as many as Washington for a 24-point benefit behind the arc.

INJURY UPDATE: Raptors reserve Fred VanVleet (proper shoulder) went by way of most of apply Monday after lacking the opener however stays each day. Lowry was preventing a chilly however joked he was ”out tanning” Sunday throughout an ice storm.

PRESSURE IS ON: Washington’s bench. The Wizards‘ reserves probably aren’t going to win the battle towards Toronto’s extremely productive second unit, however want to supply one thing extra after getting subsequent to nothing past Mike Scott’s 14 factors within the opener.


Boston leads 1-Zero. Game 2, eight P.M., TNT.

NEED TO KNOW: Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored 20 or extra factors in eight straight video games towards the Celtics after scoring 35 earlier than fouling out in extra time of the opener.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Boston’s steadiness. With Al Horford (24 factors), Terry Rozier (23), Marcus Morris (21) and Jaylen Brown (20), the Celtics had 4 20-point scorers in a playoff sport for the primary time since Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Reggie Lewis and Brian Shaw did it in a 1991 sport. Throw in Jayson Tatum’s 19 factors, and the Bucks let too many gamers get sizzling in Game 1.

INJURY UPDATE: Celtics coach Brad Stevens stated Marcus Smart is getting some pictures up and dealing on decrease physique and conditioning as a lot as he can, however has been advised by the coaching employees that April 27 is the earliest the guard might start basketball exercise.

”We’re nonetheless a methods away from that and loads of video games away from that,” Stevens stated.

PRESSURE IS ON: Eric Bledsoe. Milwaukee wants extra from its beginning guard who had extra mixed fouls (6) and turnovers (5) than factors (9) in a little bit of a Game 1 dud.


New Orleans leads 1-Zero. Game 2, 10:30 P.M., TNT.

NEED TO KNOW: Anthony Davis had 35 factors within the opener and has scored 25 or extra in his first 5 postseason video games. He can tie LeBron James for the second-longest streak to start a profession, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 14 straight, based on Elias.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Rajon Rondo. A 17-assist, eight-rebound opener was one other reminder of how a lot the Pelicans’ level guard can elevate his sport within the postseason.

INJURY UPDATE: Portland’s Maurice Harkless is nearing a return from late-season left knee surgical procedure, however will not be accessible till later within the collection.

PRESSURE IS ON: The Blazers’ backcourt. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum mixed to shoot simply 13 for 41, and their three mixed factors on 1-for-15 capturing within the first half doomed Portland to a giant gap from which it couldn’t get well.

AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower in Boston and freelance author Ian Harrison in Toronto contributed to this report.

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