Raptors roar to big lead, hold off Nets in Game 1

Fred VanVleet scored a career playoff-best 30 points and added 11 assists as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 134-110 on Monday afternoon in the opener of their best-of-seven first-round series near Orlando.

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The Raptors dominated early and led by as many as 33 points in the second quarter only to have the lead shrink to nine points entering the fourth quarter.

Toronto regained control early in the fourth quarter and increased the lead to 18 points at 114-96 with 7:09 to play on a dunk and a free throw by OG Anunoby.

Toronto’s Serge Ibaka removed all doubt about a Brooklyn comeback with two free throws and then a 3-pointer with 3:32 remaining for a 124-102 advantage.

It was the most points the Raptors have scored in a playoff game.

Ibaka had 22 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam added 18 points and 11 rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 16 points, Marc Gasol chipped in with 13 points, Anunoby added 12 and Terence Davis scored 11.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot matched his career best with 26 points for the Nets. Joe Harris added 19 points, Caris LeVert scored 15 points and had a career-best 15 assists, Jarrett Allen had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Garrett Temple had 12 points.

Rodions Kurucs scored six points and added six rebounds for the Nets before he fouled out with 9:41 to play in the fourth quarter.

The teams continue the series Wednesday afternoon.

The Raptors led 37-20 after the first quarter.

VanVleet made a 3-pointer with 4:42 to play in the second quarter as Toronto breezed to a 68-35 lead, with the 33-point advantage its largest of the day.

The Nets finished the second quarter on a 16-5 surge and Toronto led 73-51 at halftime.

Harris hit a 3-pointer with 5:15 remaining in the third quarter to trim the Toronto lead to 13 points.

The lead dwindled to eight when Luwawu-Cabarrot made a 3-pointer with 2:06 left in the third.

Jarrett Allen hit an 18-footer at the buzzer and the third quarter ended with Toronto leading 95-86.

--Field Level Media