17 May, 2017
LeBron James scored 35 points, Kevin Love had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Toronto Raptors 115-94 on Friday night and take a 3-0 lead in their second-round playoff series.
NOTES: The Cavaliers went 10-0 to open the playoffs in 2016 and, with their Game 3 win Friday, are 7-0 to open the playoffs this season.
The Cavaliers took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter and took command of the game with a 20-3 run.
When James hit two more free throws with 7:23 left, Cleveland led by 12.
Cavs superstar LeBron James saw Lowry go down, saying the injury "didn't look that great". Kyle Korver came off the bench to score 14, with four of his baskets coming from long range, while Tristan Thompson reached double figures on the glass with 12 for the evening.
Then Cleveland found another gear - specifically, LeBron found another gear, but as a team the Cavs shot 11-of-14 and 4-of-5 from three in the fourth. But Kyle Lowry was out with a sprained ankle, and his all-star backcourt mate couldn't do it alone.
DeRozan came out of the locker room like he was shot out of a cannon and continued to carry the load for the Raptors, scoring 15 points in the third quarter. King James became the fourth player in league history to make 300 threes in the National Basketball Association playoffs and got a standing ovation and lively MVP chants as he headed to the bench with 39 points on 10-14 shooting.
The Raptors were happy to be home after being routed by a combined 33 points in Games 1 and 2 in Cleveland, buoyed by the fact they were in the same position last season. Making a Game 3 prediction that includes a Raptors' victory wouldn't be based on much logic, and Toronto will be lucky to steal a win before they are eliminated from contention.
Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in Toronto.
"We couldn't get anything to fall for us and they turned it on offensively and ran away with it", said DeRozan. Tonight we competed extremely well, but it sucks to get down late in the game. They can do that here in Sunday's Game 4. "Next man mentality and we're all playing good together".
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Parker will miss the remainder of the 2017 postseason after suffering a ruptured left quadriceps tendon in the fourth quarter of game two.
After sailing to a first-round sweep of the Pacers, the Cavaliers were supposed to be heading into choppier waters in an Eastern Conference semifinals matchup with the Raptors.
DeRozan said his team's long-range struggles were made even more "deflating" because Cleveland connected 13 times on 23 attempts from beyond the arc.
"Hopefully some things change, but right now I don't think I'll be able to play", Lowry said, per ESPN.
The Raps trailed 28-24 by the end of the quarter, and Delon Wright - not Lowry - was the point guard subbed in for Joseph.
- In 2007 at the appropriately named Palace, King James scored 48, including 25 straight and 29 of Cleveland's last 30 in Game 5 to beat Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals. The goal is just to play.
"We have to do our style (of offence) better, first off, and we've got to limit their style, which we're not doing right now", Joseph told Postmedia after Game 2.
"When we lost by (31) here previous year, everyone knocked us and said it was over with", Casey said.
"I just wanted him to get up".
Moments later, James got a rousing ovation from the Cleveland crowd when his achievement was shown on the giant scoreboard.