Wizards’ magic gives them 2-0 win over Raptors
Washington, Cleveland and Houston all earned 2-0 leads in their NBA first-round playoff series with victories on Tuesday, continuing the previous day’s pattern.
All five of the series that have played two games now stand at 2-0, with the Wizards, Cavaliers and Rockets joining Monday’s winners Chicago and Golden State with the early two-game buffer in the bestof-seven series.
Washington’s 117-106 victory at Toronto owed most to John Wall, who had 26 points and 17 assists, and Bradley Beal, who scored 28 points.
Marcin Gortat scored 16 points, Otto Porter had 15 and Paul Pierce added 10 for the Wizards, who return home to host Game 3 on Friday.
Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Sixth Man Award winner Lou Williams scored 20 points for the Raptors, who have lost four straight playoff games over the past two seasons.
Washington lost 15 of its final 19 road games in the regular season, but rediscovered its best away from home in times for the playoffs. Dating back to last year, the Wizards have won seven of eight away from home in the postseason.
DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points, Patrick Patterson had 15 and Amir Johnson added 10 for Toronto, which has won just one playoff series in six previous post- season appearances.
Cleveland shook off a persistent Boston to win 99-91 at home, with LeBron James leading the way with 30 points and Kyrie Irving contributing 26.
James scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, moved past Hall of Famer Jerry West on the career playoff scoring list and made sure the Cavs didn’t slip up at home. He and Irving combined for all of Cleveland’s 24 points in the final period.
Timofey Mozgov added 16 points and Tristan Thompson had 11 rebounds for Cleveland.
Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points for the Celtics, whose bench outscored Cleveland’s 51-7 but did not get anywhere near enough from the starting five. Game 3 is Thursday in Boston. Houston also pulled away in the last quarter to beat Texas rival Dallas 111-99.
Dwight Howard, who scored 28 points, and James Harden, who added 24, dominated early in the final period to steer the Rockets to victory.
The Mavericks scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to take a three-point lead. But with Harden on the bench, Houston scored the next 11 points, powered by three alley-oop passes from Smith to Howard, to take a 92-84 lead with about 8 minutes left.
Smith finished with 15 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Monta Ellis had 24 points for Dallas, which hosts Game 3 on Friday.
Houston Rockets’ Trevor Ariza #1 shoots against Dallas Mavericks’ Amare Stoudemire #1 during the first half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series on Tuesday, April 21.