2016 Playoff Hangover (Day 16): Heat, Raptors Finally Escape To Second Round

This is the Hangover. We get basketball-wasted all the time. Yes, we recap the NBA every night in our own way.

(PHOTO CREDIT: Lori Ewing/The Canadian Press.)

#6 CHARLOTTE HORNETS 73 @ #3 MIAMI HEAT 106
EAST First Round – Game 7 – HEAT WIN series, 4-3

The Hornets got down early due to the play of someone who has been basically a non-factor in the series, Goran Dragic. He got inside with no problem as the Hornets had the defense of a 24-hour convenience store.

It was more of the same in the second half as the Heat started off with two Hassan Whiteside dunks. The third quarter was all Miami; they outscored the Queen City, 29-11, in that period. Miami kept it going in the fourth and it was an easy victory in the series clincher. The Heat taught the Hornets a very powerful lesson in this series: when your opponent is down, you keep kicking them. That was Game 6 for Charlotte and they didn’t do that.

It was still a good season for Charlotte but it ended in disappointment. In the meantime, the Heat are back in the conference semifinals after not being in the postseason at all last season.

BEHIND THE LINES
Hassan Whiteside (MIA): 10 pts, 12 rebs, 5 blks.
Goran Dragic (MIA): 25 pts, 6 rebs.
Frank Kaminsky III (CHA): 12 pts (3/15 FG), 6 rebs.

#5 PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS 106 @ #1 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 118
WEST Semifinals – Game 1 – WARRIORS lead series, 1-0

The Warriors didn’t show any sign of vulnerability without Stephen Curry from the start. Klay Thompson had a dazzling quarter as he outscored the Blazers by himself, 18-17, in the first 12 minutes. Portland didn’t lay down like the Warriors’ previous opponent but it was like climbing Everest for these Blazers. Even when the deficit went down to 9, the Warriors would answer back with another run. They just did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. That’s why the Golden State Warriors are the reigning, defending champions.

After all this, it’s still only one game. And the Blazers just had this experience a couple of weeks earlier. The bad news is that they’re facing the greatest regular season team in NBA history.

BEHIND THE LINES
Klay Thompson (GS): 37 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assts.
Andrew Bogut (GS): 10 pts, 12 rebs, 3 blks.
Harrison Barnes (GS): 10 pts, 12 rebs.
Draymond Green (GS): 23 pts, 13 rebs, 11 assts, 3 blks.
Damian Lillard (POR): 30 pts, 5 assts, 4 stls.

#7 INDIANA PACERS 84 @ #2 TORONTO RAPTORS 89
EAST First Round – Game 7 – RAPTORS WIN series, 4-3

The Raptors led from the first quarter on and looked like they were going to win going away as they led by 16 with about seven minutes left. But the Pacers went on a furious 15-2 run for the next five minutes. It looked like Team Canada was going to get strangled again.

With 15 seconds left and the dinosaurs hanging on to a three-point lead, Paul George tried to throw a pass to Ian Mahinmi inside. The ball went off Mahinmi’s hand and DeMar DeRozan (who was aggressive the entire time despite not having a good percentage) was able to get the rock. His two foul shots put the game away and the Raptors were able to slither through the second round. You can definitely argue that a foul could’ve been called on DeRozan but it showed that DeMar was willing to do anything to win this series.

The Raptors are going to meet the Heat in the East semis.

BEHIND THE LINES
DeMar DeRozan (TOR): 30 pts (10/32 FG), 5 rebs, 3 stls.
Jonas Valanciunas (TOR): 10 pts, 15 rebs.
Paul George (IND): 26 pts, 12 rebs, 3 stls.

WATCH THIS PLAY

Canada’s best friend at the time, Paul George, throws down a 360 to the delight (anger) of the Toronto crowd.

(VIDEO CREDIT: Reloadez.)


Follow Rey-Rey on Twitter at @TheNoLookPass for all tweets about the NBA and terrible pop music. Also, check out his podcast, Rey-Rey Is Fundamental.

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