2019 NBA Playoffs Capsule Recaps 4/16/19: Raptors, Nuggets Even Series

Toronto Raptors 111 – Orlando Magic 82

The Toronto Raptors came back in a big way in Game 2, routing the Orlando Magic to tie up the series. They played tight defense on the Magic players that were key to Orlando’s Game 1 victory and Toronto got a special performance by Kawhi Leonard, and Kyle Lowry also bounced back from his goose egg in Game 1.

The Raptors got out to an early lead in the first quarter, leading by eight points, and they poured it on again in the third quarter, scoring 39 points, which was too much for Orlando to come back from. The Magic never had the lead and trailed by as much as 34 points in the game. The Raptors had 10 steals, five blocked shots and limited Orlando to 37 percent shooting from the field and 26.5 percent from long range. Orlando also could not knock down the shots that were not defended, as they hit only 13 of their 24 free throws.

Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 37 points and Kyle Lowry finished with 22 points and seven assists. Pascal Siakam had another strong game with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Only three Orlando players reached double figures. Aaron Gordon had 20 points, Terrence Ross came off the bench for 15 points, and Evan Fournier had 10 points. D.J. Augustin and Nikola Vucevic, who had much bigger roles in Game 1 combined for just 15 points.

The series now shifts to Orlando for Game 3 on Friday night. Orlando has not lost a game at home since back in February.

Denver Nuggets 114 – San Antonio Spurs 105

Several times during Tuesday night’s Game 2 between the Spurs and Nuggets, it appeared as if the Spurs were on their way to taking a commanding 2-0 series lead and stealing two games on the road. That was before the Spurs blew two 19-point leads and Jamal Murray, who had previously missed eight straight shots, caught fire.

Murray was MIA in Game 1 and through more than half of Game 2 before he finally got a shot to fall – then he seemingly couldn’t miss. Murray finished with 24 points. Gary Harris, who we mentioned as an X-Factor in this series that could shift things in Denver’s favor if he performed well, certainly played his role and then some, scoring 23 points. When Nikola Jokic wasn’t taking what the Spurs defense was giving him, he was orchestrating the offense. He had 21 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists.

DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge had much better games in Game 2, scoring 31 and 24 points apiece, and Derrick White was big once again with 17 points. The Spurs’ offense stalled when White went to the bench and that’s when Denver went on their late rally.

A 39-point fourth quarter by the Nuggets ended up being the end to the Spurs’ hopes of going home with a 2-0 lead. Look for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to make several adjustments as the series shifts to the Alamo City for Game 3 on Thursday night.

Portland Trail Blazers 114 – Oklahoma City Thunder 94

The Portland Trail Blazers have done exactly as they needed to in protecting their home court. They now go to Oklahoma City for Game 3 on Friday night with a commanding 2-0 series lead.

Russell Westbrook struggled as the Portland defense did a good job of trying to limit him. Westbrook finished the game with 14 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, but he knocked down only 5-of-20 field goal attempts and 1-of-6 three-point attempts. Paul George looked better in Game 2, finishing with 27 points and eight rebounds, but the Thunder as a whole are struggling from beyond the arc, shooting at a 17.9% clip on deep balls.

Portland’s backcourt duo was too much to stop for OKC. Damian Lillard had 29 points and six assists, while CJ McCollum had 33 points and eight rebounds.

The series between Portland and OKC has gotten chippy at times, with a lot of talk going on between the two teams, something McCollum said he loves.

”I love it, that’s what I live for,” said McCollum. ”Just like playing on the playground.”

Things will likely continue to get heated as the series moved to OKC and as long as these two teams are playing, but OKC and coach Billy Donovan will need to try to win both games at home before the series goes back to Portland.

  
Michael is Chief Editor at Lineups.com. He has decades of combined experience in traditional print journalism and online media and is the publisher of the Project Spurs Network, which includes 13 team-specific sports media sites and the flagship ProjectSpurs.com. He is also the creator of the first Spurs podcast and the longest-running sports podcast on the internet, the Spurscast, and was formerly the host of the News 4 San Antonio Sports Roundtable.

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