LeBron James had 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, J.R. Smith scored 20 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Toronto Raptors 113-112 in overtime on Tuesday night to win Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.
Toronto’s Fred VanVleet missed a 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds to go in overtime that could have won it for the Raptors, who couldn’t hold on to a 14-point, first-quarter lead.
Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 21 rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 18 points and 10 assists, and DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points for the Raptors, who host Game 2 on Thursday night.
Lowry’s three-point play made it 113-112 with 57 seconds to go and, after the Cavs were called for a shot-clock violation, Toronto had one more chance to win, but VanVleet couldn’t come through.
VanVleet was one of four Raptors to miss in the final seconds of regulation. Toronto got four looks at the potential winning basket on its next possession but missed all four, including a wide-open 3 by VanVleet, giving Cleveland the ball with 0.6 seconds remaining. Green inbounded to James, but his shot bounced off the rim.
The Raptors shot 5 for 24 in the fourth quarter, with Valanciunas missing six of seven attempts.
DeRozan scored 11 points in the first, connecting on five of eight attempts, and Lowry had eight points and five assists as Toronto led 33-19. James was 3 of 5 in the first but the rest of the Cavs shot 4 for 18.
James, who averaged more than 41 minutes in Cleveland’s first-round series against Indiana, checked out with 3:31 left in the first. With James on the bench, the Cavs scored two points the rest of the quarter.
Green and Smith each scored 11 points in the second quarter and the Cavs found their shooting stroke, connecting on 14 of 22 attempts. James had five assists in the period as Cleveland cut the deficit to 60-57 at halftime.
VanVleet took exception to a shove from James at the end of one play and made an attempt to get at the Cavs star, but was restrained by teammates.