The Toronto Raptors are on their way to the second round of their title defense after completing the four-game sweep of the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday evening. The Raptors lost PG Kyle Lowry early in the first quarter and it didn’t do anything to psych them out. Toronto ran the Nets off the floor 150-122. There were few times the Raptors were in danger of losing during the short series.
Lowry only played 9 minutes and left with what looked like an ankle injury. His status will be important moving forward, but the Raptors also get some time off before the second round starts. Lowry should have time to get 100% and chances are the Raptors were being cautious with him to begin with. You’re up 3-0, no need to stretch Lowry out.
That led to the bench being extended in Game 4. Normal Powell had a huge game, dropping 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting, 5-of-9 from downtown. He started the second half for Lowry and would be in line for more minutes if Lowry does miss time against the Boston Celtics in Round 2. Serge Ibaka couldn’t miss, shooting 12-of-14 from the floor, hitting all 3 of his 3-point attempts. Ibaka had 27 points and 15 rebounds.
The Nets may be going home, but have a lot to be happy about. Caris LeVert showed up in a big way, scoring 35 points in 31 minutes in the loss. He played well carrying the team in four games, and throughout the seeding round. No Joe Harris was really the nail in the Nets’ coffin anyway. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot can shoot. Jarrett Allen should have been playing more minutes earlier in the season. The future is still bright in Brooklyn.