DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 15 rebounds and 10 points at Toronto as the Raptors beat the Indiana Pacers, 89-84, on Sunday night in Game 7 of a first-round playoff series to advance to face Miami in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Rookie Norman Powell added 13 points, Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists, and Patrick Patterson had 11 points to help Toronto win a seven-game series for the first time in franchise history.
The Raptors won their first postseason series since a five-game triumph over the New York Knicks in 2001, ending the NBA’s longest active drought between playoff series victories.
Paul George led Indiana with 26 points and 12 rebounds, George Hill scored 19 points, and Monta Ellis had 15.
Up 78-64 after three quarters, the Raptors didn’t make their first basket of the final quarter until a three by Powell at 8 minutes 19 seconds. Joseph followed with a pull-up jumper to make it 81-67, leading to an Indiana timeout.
The Pacers responded by scoring 12 of the next 14 points, cutting it to 85-79 with 3:23 remaining. Indiana cut it to three at 85-82 on Ellis’ three-pointer with 2:37 left, but Lowry answered with a driving layup.
George made a pair of free throws with 52 seconds left to pull Indiana within three again at 87-84. After DeRozan missed a three-point shot, Solomon Hill grabbed the rebound and Indiana called a timeout to draw up a play for George, but he turned the ball over. DeRozan made the steal, then got fouled at the other end and made both shots with 6.5 seconds left, giving the Raptors an 89-84 lead.
at Miami 106, Charlotte 73: Goran Dragic scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds in his first Game 7, Gerald Green added 16 points off the bench and the Heat took the series 4-3, leading by as many as 38.
Luol Deng scored 15, Dwyane Wade finished with 12 and Hassan Whiteside had a 10-point, 12-rebound, five-block clincher for the Heat.
Wade has played in 29 postseason series; the Heat have won 22 of them. And under Coach Erik Spoelstra, the Heat are now 15-4 in postseason series, 8-4 when facing elimination games and 15-5 in games when they have a chance to oust an opponent.
Frank Kaminsky scored 12 for Charlotte, which got 11 from Courtney Lee and 10 from Nic Batum. The Hornets’ two biggest stars, Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson, never got going — Walker shot three for 16 and scored only nine points, while Jefferson put up a mere four points and two rebounds.
A contentious series, filled at times with anger over calls and non-calls — not to mention attention on courtside fans and NBA officiating reports — pushed Miami to the limit. Charlotte had a chance to close out the Heat on its home floor in Game 6, wasting the opportunity.
The Hornets never had a chance in Game 7.
Miami led the whole way, taking a 12-point lead at the half and stretching it to 24 before the midpoint of the third quarter.
at Golden State 118, Portland 106: Klay Thompson scored 37 points in another brilliant performance as fellow “Splash Brother” Stephen Curry watched injured, and the Warriors again dominated without their most valuable player to beat the Trail Blazers at Oakland in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.
Draymond Green had his second career postseason triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for the defending champions.
With Curry sidelined because of a sprained right knee, Green and Thompson took charge again. Thompson hit seven more three-pointers to become the first player in NBA history to make at least seven threes in three straight playoff games.
Golden State reserve Anderson Varejao and Portland’s Gerald Henderson were ejected late in the third quarter after receiving their second technical fouls. Both were hit with a technical at the 3:29 mark of the third when Varejao tripped Henderson after they collided and the Portland guard jumped up, pointing a finger at his opponent’s face. They kept jawing a few minutes later and were tossed with 15.1 seconds left in the period.
Thompson hit a Curry-esque 30-foot three-pointer in the opening minutes. That was followed by another jumper to put Golden State up 10-2, and the Warriors ran with it from there. Thompson scored 18 of his points in the first quarter on seven-for-10 shooting with four threes as Golden State built a 37-17 lead.
Damian Lillard had another slow start back home in the Bay Area, missing 11 of his first 13 shots before finishing with 30 points — 10 on free throws.
Curry resumed light shooting Saturday in hopes of playing Game 3.
On Sunday, Portland looked tired at times after eliminating the injury-plagued Clippers in six games Friday night before traveling to the Bay Area on Saturday.
The Trail Blazers began the game one of nine and missed their initial five three-point attempts.