LeBron James and company still have yet to take an L in the postseason this year. The Raptors played better than they did in the first two games away from home, but there is no moral victories in the NBA.
This game was fairly close throughout the first three quarters. The Cavs only lead by two heading into the fourth quarter and eventually won the fourth quarter 36-17. Cavs shot the ball pretty well from three as they usually do making 13 out of 23 (56-percent). The Cavs defense also was up to par holding Toronto to only 94 points.
Kevin Love gets a lot of heat for not showing up sometimes in games. As he should because he is a star player. Love played a solid game tonight, in 32 minutes Love put up 16 points 13 rebounds, while only missing 3 (6-9) shots from the field. Head Coach Tyronn Lue did a good job of running plays for Love getting him good looks at the rim. When Love is attacking the basket he is a better player, Love only attempted one three pointer. LeBron James showed us why he is the best player in the planet. James had another stellar performance with 35 points 8 rebounds and 7 assist and 15-of-16 from the free-throw line.
It seems like James is on another level right now just getting to basket at will and also getting everybody else involve. When James and Love are playing at high level the Cavs are hard to stop.
Last game it was Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye that step up for the Cavs. In game three it was Kyle Korver and Tristan Thompson. The three point specialist gave the Cavs a huge boost of the bench tonight. Korver has not had the best playoffs this far, but step up tonight with 14 points 4-for-6 from downtown. If Love and James continue to attack the rim like they did tonight look for Korver to have a lot more easy looks from three. Tristan Thompson played a very aggressive game the Toronto native grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with nine points. His effort, toughness, and energy was needed in this game. His play on both ends should not go unnoticed.
The Raptors played better but still struggled. Playing at home one would think they would play better, but quite the opposite. Raptors struggled from three going 2-18 from downtown, and it did not help that Kyle Lowry was not playing due to injury. The Raptors seem like a team that is okay with just making it to the playoffs. Head Coach Dwayne Casey has to figure something out to help his team play with some heart. Coach Casey went back to his traditional lineup of Jonas Valanciunas at the center position and once again he responded well. Valanciunas had another outing putting up 19 points and eight rebounds. Valanciunas has been the only bright spot for the Raptors in this series.
Good to see DeMar DeRozan join the party. DeRozan looked like his old self drawing fouls, making fade-away jumpers, and attacking the rim. DeRozan finished with 37 points going 13-13 from the free-throw line. With Lowry out the extra effort held Toronto within the first three quarters. DeRozan has struggle in this series reason is because he can not shoot the three ball well. With him not being a capable three point threat the Cavs crowed him around the rim and contested some of his fade-away jumpers better.
The Raptors benched combine for 9 points and Serge Ibaka was in foul trouble getting destroyed by Kevin Love. The Raptors bench will have to step up with the absence of Kyle Lowry if he not able to play in game four.
The Cavs are just cursing through the Eastern Conference and it does not look like the Raptors can do anything about it. The “Six” will need to find its pride Sunday afternoon to avoid being swept out of the Conference Semifinals.
Game four is in Toronto. Tip-off is at 3:30 on ABC.