NBA playoffs wrap: Cavaliers blows lead; Raptors, Celtics blown out

Cavaliers was up by as many as 17 points in the first half, but Pacers still made the series 2-1.

LeBron James goes to the basket as Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner defends. Photo: AP

Stop us if you've heard this before: 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers had a big lead at halftime thanks to a big first half thanks to LeBron James and solid contributions from role players, but it managed to find a way to lose by two points.

If the story sounds familiar it's because on January 12 Cavaliers had a 34-12 lead at the end of the first quarter against Pacers and lost the game 97-95. It managed to do the exact same thing on Friday as it led 57-40 at the half against Indiana and lost 92-90.

"It was a tale of two halves," James told the press conference. "We were more aggressive in the first half, we had tempo, they didn't, and they were more aggressive in the second half and they had tempo and we didn't."

 

James had a team-high 28 points to go with 12 rebounds and eight assists, but it was Bojan Bogdanovich's 30-point performance, 19 of which came in the second half, which led Pacers to a win. Indiana now leads the series 2-1.

Elsewhere in the playoffs, Wizards extended its home playoff win streak to seven games with a 122-103 win over Raptors to cut Toronto's series lead to 2-1. John Wall had 28 points, 14 assists and six rebounds and a ridiculous block in the lane on DeMar DeRozan.

 

Milwaukee dominated Boston from the beginning as it led Celtics 27-12 at the end of the first quarter and 58-35 at the half. It ultimately won 116-92. Bucks has also cut the lead to 2-1 in favor of Boston.

STUDS OF THE NIGHT

Bradley Beal had 28 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals in Wizards' win.

Kevin Love had 19 points, six rebounds and one great hustle play and 3-pointer that cut the lead to one with seven seconds left.

 

Bucks guard Khris Middleton had 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Milwaukee to a win.

DUD OF THE NIGHT

Pacers guard Darren Collison looked uncomfortable shooting all night and it showed in his numbers as he was 1 for 7 from the floor with three points and a minus-1 rating.

One could make the argument Raptors is only as good as its bench and CJ Miles went 2 for 7 with nine points and Delon Wright went 2 for 8 with six points, which could factor into why Toronto lost by 19 to Wizards after beating it convincingly in Games 1 and 2.

HIGHLIGHT

Bucks center Thon Maker sent this Jayson Tatum shot into 2017.

 

WHAT'S NEXT

Thunder (1-1) at Jazz (1-1) 10 p.m. ET — The only playoff series currently knotted up, Thunder is coming off a poor fourth-quarter performance from Carmelo Anthony and Paul George while Jazz is riding the Donovan Mitchell wave. Everyone appears to be healthy and this game will be played in Utah so the altitude can really have an effect on the way players play. This is a must-watch game.