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VanVleet drops playoff career-high 30 points to push Raptors past Nets in Game 1

The Toronto Raptors opened defence of their NBA championship with a 134-110 victory Monday over the Brooklyn Nets.

Fred VanVleet scored a playoff career-high 30 points to top Toronto in Game 1 of the opening-round playoff series in the NBA’s bubble at Walt Disney World.

Seven Raptors scored in double figures. Serge Ibaka had 22 points off the bench, while Pascal Siakam added 18 points, Kyle Lowry had 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, Marc Gasol finished with 13 points, OG Anunoby chipped in with 12, and Terence Davis had 11.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had 26 points to lead the Nets, while Joe Harris added 19 points.

Game 2 is Wednesday.

The Raptors appeared poised for an easy win, running roughshod over Brooklyn en route to a 33-point lead. But the Nets, who went 5-3 in the seeding round, outscored Toronto 35-22 in the third, and when Jarrett Allen hit a buzzer-beat to end the third, the Raptors led just 95-86 to start the fourth.

VanVleet’s second three-pointer of the fourth-quarter had Toronto back up by 15 points with 8:56 to play. Anunoby, who underwent an appendectomy on the eve of last season’s playoffs, drew a foul on a driving dunk, and then scored from behind the arc and it was a 17-point game with 4:26 to play.

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