Well-rested LeBron James goes for 43 as Cavaliers take command

04 May, 2018, 14:51 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Kevin Love Jonas Valanciunas Jeff Green

Toronto looked to be in good shape to turn their fortunes this time around, but the Cavs stole Game 1 and then blew out the Raptors in Game 2.

After Game 2, James was asked about how he's developed as a player since essentially being shut down by Casey and the Mavs' gameplan nearly seven years ago. Toronto had a small lead most of the quarter, but could not extend it when LeBron sat at the end of the first. Joel Embiid finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds but star rookie Ben Simmons missed all four shots he took as he scored just one point in 31 minutes. His 13-of-19 performance in the second half alone was breathtaking, sucking out whatever air remained in a building where the Raptors had gone 37-7 coming into the series.

But as they have done all season, Boston mounted a comeback and took a 76-68 lead in the third which capped an incredible 50-20 run.

Boston continued its surge in the third quarter to take the lead, and while the 76ers kept it within a one-possession game late, the Celtics held on.

But the third quarter funk that had plagued the Wine & Gold all season - and into the Playoffs - was non-existent on Thursday night. This Conference Semifinal will likely end in four, just like the other.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James delivered a masterclass on Thursday that left the dispirited Toronto Raptors wondering if there was anything they could do to slow down the game's greatest player. "Khloe!" in reference to Thompson's reported off-court indiscretions and girlfriend Khloe Kardashian who recently gave birth to the couple's daughter.

Even more impressive: James had apparently called his shots before the game. With the pieces, the Celtics added and LeBron James still on the Cavs, it was the logical conclusion.

The 33-year-old James was muted in his post-game media session, sharing the kudos with his teammates.

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DeMar DeRozan is averaging 25.8 points and 3.4 rebounds while Kyle Lowry is averaging 17.8 points and 8.5 assists. But before James could rise to the top of the mountain as a three-time NBA Champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP, he had to sink down to one of the lowest points in his career when his heavily favored Miami heat fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals.

Rapper Drake throws a smile during Toronto Raptors playoff game against Cleveland Cavaliers.

This isn't a very strong Cavaliers team, but thing clicked better than usual in Game 2, which mostly means Kevin Love playing like the guy who once dominated in Minnesota.

On Thursday, James warmed up as the game wore on before hitting a second-half groove. Philadelphia hosts Game 3 Saturday at 5 p.m ET.

He didn't look exhausted Tuesday. The rowdy ACC crowd chanted "Fred-dy!" but VanVleet was whistled for a foul on the play.

James had five assists in the second quarter, with three three-pointers and 11 points, and the Cavaliers outscored Toronto 38-27 in the period.

Jason tries to do his best to walk back his bold Raptors take and attempts to explain why picking Toronto doesn't matter.

Toronto now face a tall order in Cleveland, where they are 0-5 in postseason appearances and will be desperate for a win on Saturday as no National Basketball Association team has successfully recovered from being down 0-3 in a best-of-seven playoff series.

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