Series tied 1-1
The shooting woes of Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan continue to persist, but the team is finding ways to stay in games during the postseason. The Raptors will once again try to get more from their All-Star backcourt and aim for a 2-1 lead when they visit the Miami Heat for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday.
Lowry followed up a 3-of-13 effort in Game 1 with a 7-of-22 mark in Game 2 and is shooting 30.8 percent in the postseason while DeRozan is only marginally better at 33.7 percent from the floor in the playoffs. “Those guys (Lowry and DeRozan), we have to continue to go with them,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey told reporters. “Find ways. There are other ways to win the game than shooting the basketball.” The Heat gave the Raptors a way to win Thursday’s game with 21 turnovers that led to 24 points, including 11 miscues in the first quarter alone that allowed Toronto to jump out to a 29-19 lead. “Spotting a good team like this roughly 20 extra possessions – however they got them – that’s tough to overcome,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “Those are a lot of possessions to give up in the postseason. They’re a good, disruptive team.”
TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: The Heat opened as 5-point home favorites and have been bet up to -5.5. The total opened at 187 and has been bet up slightly to 187.5. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (61-30, 47-44 ATS, 44-46-1 O/U): With DeRozan and Lowry struggling to carry the load, DeMarre Carroll stepped up with 21 points in Game 2 and center Jonas Valanciunas scored 11 of his 15 in the fourth quarter and overtime while adding 12 rebounds. “He did that and we didn’t even run any plays for him,” DeRozan told reporters of Valanciunas. “It was just him being hungry. I think he’s definitely the reason that we won the game (Thursday).” The double-double was the third straight for Valanciunas, who is 17-of-25 from the field in the series.
ABOUT THE HEAT (53-38, 49-41-1 ATS, 37-53-1 O/U): Goran Dragic had two teeth knocked out and needed eight stitches to close a gash in his lip but forced overtime with a 3-pointer and finished with a team-high 20 points in Game 2 while committing four turnovers. “Some of those were silly, silly turnovers,” Dragic told reporters. “Maybe we’re not focused enough. If we eliminate those turnovers, we would have had at least five possessions more, and if you score on half of those possessions, it’s six or seven points. We feel like we should have won this one, so it’s a little bit of a bad taste in our mouths.” Miami is heading back home for the first time since Game 7 of the first round against the Charlotte Hornets, when it steamrolled its way to a 106-73 victory.
* Raptors are 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.
* Under is 6-0 in Raptors last six road games.
* Under is 6-1 in Heat last seven overall.
Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers (+3.5, 211.5)
Warriors lead series 2-0
The Portland Trail Blazers aren’t likely to see Stephen Curry on Saturday, but the rest of the Golden State Warriors are doing just fine without their superstar. The Warriors will try to take a commanding lead in the Western Conference semifinals when they visit the Trail Blazers for Game 3.
Portland let a golden opportunity slip away in Game 2, when it entered the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead only to be outscored 34-12 in the final period as Golden State ran away with the win. “It hurts to go back in the locker room after you play so well for so long and you come back in there with the ‘L,’” Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard told reporters. “But it is a part of growth. The entire season has been growth for us. But nights like (Tuesday), we have to close that out. We have to get that done. It was just a missed opportunity.” The 2-0 lead in the series gives the Warriors a chance to be cautious with Curry, who has been out since April 24 with a knee injury. “Everything has gone very smoothly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters about Curry’s rehab after saying his star would “probably not” return on Saturday. “He hasn’t had any setbacks. He’s ramping up things in the weight room.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ABC
LINE HISTORY: The line was intitially held off the board with Curry’s status uncertain, but with Kerr confirming the MVP will miss another game, the Warriors opened as 3.5-point road faves. The total has been bet down a point since opening at 212.5 to its current number of 211.5. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (79-10, 51-36-2 ATS, 47-41-1 O/U): Golden State has only had Curry in the lineup for parts of two games this postseason due to knee and ankle injuries but continues to flourish behind All-Stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson and a roster full of solid role players. Reserve center Festus Ezeli was singled out by coaches and teammates after Game 2 for his contributions on both ends when the Warriors began taking over the game late. “Changed the entire game for us,” Green told reporters of Ezeli. “Some people are going to look and say, ‘Oh, he had a couple lobs and had a putback.’ No, it’s not that. “Did you see him on the ball screen with Damian Lillard? Did you see him on the ball screen with C.J. McCollum?”
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (48-42, 47-43 ATS, 47-43 O/U): Portland won the final four games of its first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers after dropping the opening two and is confident it can pull off a similar comeback. “We’ve been in bad positions time and time again, and we’ve never shied away,” Lillard told reporters. “We’ve never not answered the call. I don’t see why this time it would be any different. In our last series against the Clippers, we were down 0-2. We went home, and the next two games they were pretty much full strength. They had their guys and we got it done those two games. Obviously, Golden State is a different monster, but we know the same thing can happen.” Lillard went scoreless in the fourth quarter of Game 2 after putting up 25 points in the first three periods.
* Warriors are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.
* Trail Blazers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven Conference Semi finals games.
* Under is 7-0 in Warriors last seven road games.
* Under is 7-0 in Trail Blazers last seven games following a SU loss.