ATLANTA, Sporting Alert – Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors both took 3-2 leads in their respective NBA playoff first-round series with victories on Tuesday night.
At the Air Canada Centre in Canada, DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points on 10-for-22 shooting to lead the way for the Raptors in their Game 5 102-99 win over the Indiana Pacers, who had a late 3-pointer waved off because Solomon Hill’s shot failed to beat the buzzer.
“I just felt like my normal self,” DeRozan told reporters after the game. “It’s all about patience.
“You can’t get flustered, you can’t get frustrated. You’ve got to stay the course. That’s what we’re going to continue to do.”
Kyle Lowry scored 14 points and Bismack Biyombo added 10 points and 16 rebounds off the bench for the No. 2 seeded Raptors, who overcame a 17 point deficit.
Paul George paced Indiana with a game-high 39 points.
The star forward who played 41-minutes went 11-for-19 from the floor, also had eight rebounds and eight assists, while George Hill made four 3-pointers on his way to scoring 15 points.
Myles Turner ened with 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in the defeat for the Pacers.
“It’s awful to have had a chance to win on the road, go up 3-2, and come back home,” George said.
“Once again, we failed to live up to that moment.”
Jonas Valanciunas chipped in with 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks and Norman Powell had 10 points in a reserve role for the Raptors, who head into Friday night’s vital Game 6 one win away from clinching this first-round series.
At the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Mike Scott scored 17 points and Kent Bazemore and Jeff Teague each finished with 16 and the Hawks beat the Boston Celtics 110-83 in their Game 5 matchup.
The win was setup by a dominating 28-8 first half run by Toronto, which also outscored the Celtics 32-19 in the second quarter and shot 6-for-10 from 3-point range during that period.
Kyle Korver scored 13 points and Paul Millsap finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Hawks, who can close out the series on Thursday night with a win in Boston.
Evan Turner was the main contributor for the Celtics with 15 points, but leading scorer Isaiah Thomas was held for just seven points and was a disappointing 3-for-12 from field goal attempts.
Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger scored 10 points apiece for the travelers in the defeat
Boston shot 38-percent from the floor and 24-percent from 3-point range.
“We were struggling to make shots,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “Yeah, it was a little frustrating.
“But I’m thinking, `If we continue to guard like this, we have a chance.”‘