Cavaliers downs Raptors in second-round playoff opener

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and 10 assists while Kevin Love had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Cavaliers seized the edge in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference matchup with game two set for Wednesday.

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, right, drives past Toronto Raptors' DeMarre Carroll in the first half in Game 1 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series on Monday. The Cavaliers won 116-105.   -  AP

1848LeBron James scored 35 points and grabbed 10 rebounds on Monday, leading the reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers over Toronto 116-105 in the opener of their second-round playoff series.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and 10 assists while Kevin Love had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Cavaliers seized the edge in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference matchup with game two set for Wednesday.

The Cleveland-Toronto winner next faces Washington or Boston, which leads that series 1-0 entering Tuesday's second game.

Houston visits San Antonio later Monday to open its Western Conference matchup. The winner will face either Utah or Golden State, who begin their second-round series Tuesday.

James hit 13-of-23 shots from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line while Tristan Thompson contributed 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, whom James warned will be even better next time out.

"I feel like I'll be a lot better on Wednesday," James said, citing an eight-day layoff since completing a first-round sweep.

"Little bit of rhythm here and conditioning there, I think a lot of our mistakes we were able to cover up for because our energy level was high.

"It's the feel out game so we'll break down the film and we'll be much better Wednesday."

The Cavaliers scored 10 consecutive points to grab a 22-11 edge, stretched it to 38-20 early in the second quarter and led 62-48 at half-time. It led by as much as 25 points on the way to victory.

Irving scored 16 first-half points while James had 13 and Love 11."We want to continue to move the ball, share the ball and make everybody feel comfortable with what we're trying to do," James said.

The Raptors, who fell to 1-12 in playoff series openers, were led by 20 points from Kyle Lowry and 19 from DeMar DeRozan.

Harden powers Houston Rockets to an epic rout of Spurs

James Harden had 20 points and 14 assists while Trevor Ariza scored 23 points and Clint Capela contributed 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Houston Rockets dumped the host San Antonio Spurs 126-99 to start its best-of-seven Western Conference series.

"It's just one win," Harden said. "It's a good win but we've got to be ready for game two. They've got a lot of fight in them. We missed a few shots. We've got to play better in game two."

The Rockets sank a team playoff record 22 3-pointers on 50 attempts, inflicting the most 3-pointers allowed by the Spurs in playoff history.

San Antonio trailed by as many as 39 points in the team's largest game-one defeat in playoff history. The Spurs 69-39 half-time deficit was their worst in playoff history.