Fred VanVleet scored 30 points and led Toronto’s accurate long-range offense and the defending champion Raptors dominated the Brooklyn Nets 134-110 in the first game of their playoff series on Monday night.
VanVleet made eight of 10 3-point attempts and the Raptors hit 22 of 44 three-point shots collectively. VanVleet also added 11 assists and a single turnover, to become the first player in franchise history with at least 30 points and 10 assists in a playoff game.
Toronto’s precision from long range helped the Raptors take a 68-35 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the first half. Brooklyn cut the margin to eight late in the third period, but the Raptors regained control and won convincingly.
Serge Ibaka contributed 22 points as a reserve for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam had 18 points and 11 boards. Kyle Lowry had 16 points, seven boards and six assists, with no losses. Marc Gasol had 13 points, OG Anunoby finished with 12 and Terence Davis with 11.
For Brooklyn, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot tied a career-high with 26 units. Joe Harris added 19 points and Caris LeVert had 15 points and 15 points, while Jarrett Allen finished with 15 points and 12 boards.
The game took a beating tinge from the first minutes. A sequence late in the first quarter faithfully reflected the dominance of the Raptors.
Norman Powell was accidentally kicked in the groin by Garrett Temple, who appeared to lift his leg to try and keep his balance. After a time out, Powell was quick to hit a triple.
Even after Brooklyn mounted a 16-5 offense to close out the second period, Toronto reached halftime with a 73-51 lead.