So far, so good for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They shook off a slow start Tuesday night to bury the Toronto Raptors (+11 away) 115-84 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 2 takes place Thursday night in Cleveland, tipping off at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN.
Toronto had to play Game 1 without starting center Jonas Valanciunas (27.7 PER in the playoffs), who sprained his right ankle in the previous series versus the Miami Heat. Valanciunas is expected to miss Game 2 as well, and might not return at all this series. With zero injured players, Cleveland should be fresh Thursday night after sweeping through the first two rounds. No Cavalier needed to play more than 30 minutes in the opener; LeBron James (25.0 PER) sat the entire fourth quarter after scoring 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting.
The Raptors will only go as far as their shooters will take them, and after showing signs of life in the Miami series, Kyle Lowry (16.3 PER) struggled again in Game 1. Lowry shot 4-of-14 for just eight points, missing all seven of his attempts from behind the arc. As a team, Toronto went 5-of-24 from long range (20.8%).
NBA Odds : Raptors Getting Creamed in Cleveland
The Cleveland Cavaliers had little trouble disposing of the Toronto Raptors (+11 away) 115-84 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference final. They'll try it again Thursday night at the Q, starting at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN.
Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (27.7 playoff PER) missed the opener with a sprained ankle, and isn't expected to play in Game 2. The Cavs took advantage by out-rebounding Toronto 45-23; LeBron James (25.0 PER) had six of those rebounds along with 24 points on 11-of-13 from the floor. James then sat out the entire fourth quarter with Cleveland up large.