NBA: Raptors begin title defense with lopsided win over Nets


Posted at Aug 18 2020 06:47 AM | Updated as of Aug 20 2020 07:30 AM

NBA: Raptors begin title defense with lopsided win over Nets 1
The Raptors' Marc Gasol (right) celebrates a basket against the Nets with Fred VanVleet (left) and Kyle Lowry during Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Kevin C. Cox, Pool via AP

Fred VanVleet scored 30 points, and all Toronto Raptors starters finished with double-digit points, as the defending champions cruised to a 134-110 victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday (US time).

VanVleet was 8 of 10 from 3-point territory for Toronto, which burst out of the gates with a 17-6 lead in the first quarter then placed a stranglehold on the depleted Nets for the wire-to-wire win.

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Serge Ibaka added 22 points off the bench and Pascal Siakam chipped in 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who led by as many as 33 points.

Brooklyn was an unlikely playoff entry, given the absence of Kevin Durant (ruptured Achilles), Kyrie Irving (right shoulder), Spencer Dinwiddie (coronavirus), and DeAndre Jordan (coronavirus) at the bubble. 

But the Nets' Cinderella showing at Disney got a reality check against the well-oiled Raptors, who shot 50% from downtown (22 of 44) and missed just once from the free-throw line (32 of 33, 97%). 

Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot finished with 26 points and Joe Harris added 19 to pace Brooklyn, which got just 15 points from de facto main guy Caris LeVert.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).