After a 27-point beat down in game one, the San Antonio Spurs came out focused in a must-win situation. The Spurs played their style of basketball with defense and patience to beat the Rockets 121-96.
San Antonio Spurs 121 – Houston Rockets 96
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs to victory as he’s done all season. He finished with 34 points, eight assists. and seven rebounds on 13-of-16 shooting. San Antonio relies heavily on Leonard. In order for them to advance in the playoffs, the 25-year-old superstar will need to carry a huge load. Not only did Leonard orchestrate a fantastic offensive game, but he is also held responsible for covering James Harden. In game one, Harden dropped 20 points and 14 assists while not playing much down the stretch with the game out of hand. However, Leonard got the best of the 27-year-old shooting guard as he held him to 13 points on 3-of-17 shooting. This matchup has dictated the first two games of this series.
The Harden-Leonard matchup should be what decides this series from here on out. However, Spurs veteran point guard Tony Parker went down with a scary injury late in tonight’s game. Parker drove the lane and fired up one of his patented floaters near the rim but came down awkwardly on his knee. He immediately hit the floor and grabbed his knee with a puzzling look on his face. San Antonio immediately intentionally fouled Houston and ran to help their veteran point guard. He could not stand up so his teammates carried him off the court. It does not look good for Parker and the Spurs as the early speculation is a torn ligament somewhere in his knee. This would be devastating to the Spurs chances to get past Houston and could linger into next season. If Parker is out, expect Patty Mills to step in and start at point guard.
Cleveland Cavaliers 125 – Toronto Raptors 103
This series is starting to get out of hand. Cleveland wins game two to take a 2-0 lead after beating Toronto by double-digits in two straight games in Cleveland. It’s hard to see Toronto making a comeback after seeing their efforts against the defending NBA Champions. Lebron James is playing like the best player in the world as he scored 39 points while shooting 10-of-14 from the field. James also grabbed six rebounds and found four assists. Kyrie Irving is starting to become a more of a natural point guard with 11 assists while still scoring 22 points tonight. With these two playing well together, this team is liable to sweep this series and cakewalk to the NBA Finals for the third straight season.
Toronto is in a bad place right now. Not only are they being outshined by the Cavaliers, but they aren’t getting strong performances by their dynamic backcourt. Shooting guard Demar Derozan only scored five points which marks his playoff low for his career. Kyle Lowry was able to score 20 points tonight but fell hard late in the game and might be dealing with an injury. Lowry banged up and Derozan not hitting shots is a recipe for failure for Toronto. I don’t see any way Toronto getting back on track and being eliminated by Cleveland for the second straight year looks inevitable.