After surviving a tough seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers, the Cleveland Cavaliers only got one day to rest before they faced off against the Toronto Raptors in the second round on Tuesday night. Defeating the top team in the Eastern Conference was always going to be a hard task, but getting almost no rest made the Cavaliers big underdogs going into Game 1.
The Cavaliers looked like an extremely tired team throughout the first quarter. They struggled to shoot the ball with tired legs. After only scoring 19 points in the opening quarter, Cleveland trailed Toronto by 14 points. The team miraculously came alive in the second quarter. A 38-point quarter put the Cavaliers within three points at halftime.
Toronto jumped out to a 13-point lead early in the third quarter, but Cleveland refused to give up. They shrank the deficit to only five points before the start of the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers continued to battle throughout the final quarter before tying the game with just 30 seconds left on the clock. Both teams missed game-winning shots in the final seconds to send the game to overtime.
The first 48 minutes of the game were exhausting, so both teams struggled on offense in overtime. The Raptors were down by one point with just 3.4 seconds on the clock when Fred VanVleet missed a three-pointer. After Tristan Thompson secured the rebound, the Cavaliers won the first game of the series 113-112.
The Raptors were the best home team in the NBA this season, so pulling off the upset was huge for the Cavaliers. They will look to steal another game in Toronto when Game 2 is played on Thursday, May 3. Winning the first two games will put Cleveland in a great position to advance to the conference finals.