Thursday, 17 August, 2017

Road sweet road: LeBron relishes away games in playoffs

Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry drives past Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving during the first half in Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Cleveland Road sweet road: LeBron relishes away games in playoffs
Hilda Schwartz | 16 May, 2017, 10:18

After winning the first two games this season, the Cavs went back to Toronto trying to avoid the pitfalls of previous year.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after being fouled by Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) during the first half of game three of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre.

Cleveland won 10 straight to begin the playoffs past year. Cleveland will go for their second-straight series sweep on Sunday at 3:30 in Toronto.

Cleveland Cavaliers, last year's NBA Champions now lead their Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Raptors 3-0.

"I think we as a franchise need more firepower to get to the next level", Ressler said.

The Cavaliers have been very vocal in their confidence of winning this series, and now likely have at least one eye on the Wizards-Celtics series, scouting who they will play next. He might have been Toronto's bright spot in Game 2 with 22 points in 25 minutes, and he'll have to play a big role in Game 3 if the Raptors are going to make this a series. Kyle Korver ended the quarter with back-to-back threes to give the Cavs a 79-77 lead after three quarters.

"We got stops and Kyle (Korver) got hot", was how LeBron explained the fourth quarter.

"We don't need to be thinking about a sweep or getting rest, we need to be thinking about what we need to do to execute defensively and offensively coming into Sunday", James said.

It was in the fourth that James finally started to look like the James from the first two games, going off for nine points in the first six minutes of the quarter as the Cavs started to pull away for good. The Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days. James hit 15-of-16 free throws.

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The Toronto Raptors fell to 0-2 in their second-round National Basketball Association playoff series against the Cavaliers with a 125-103 loss Wednesday in Cleveland, and DeRozan, in particular, had a rough night. He put up 37 points after scoring only 5 in the previous game.

James top-scored once more for Cleveland, shooting 35 points.

Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points for the Raptors, while Norman Powell chipped in with 13 and Serge Ibaka had 12.

Cavaliers: Frye made five 3s and the Cavs dropped 18 from long range. True to form, DeRozan had zero 3-point attempts as he plays a throwback in-between game.

DeRozan shot 12 for 23 and made all 13 free-throw attempts, and afterward James complimented the Raptor, who has made a habit of rebounding from bad games - he averages 32.7 the game after a sub 10-point performance. The fans were all decked in white shirts printed with red maple leafs and they booed LeBron James each time he touched the ball. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love had 16 apiece for Cleveland.

Lowry skipped the morning shootaround and planned to test his sprained left ankle before the Raptors tip off against the Cavs in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.

"They are the defending champs and that is what they are looking like", Lowry said.

Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in Toronto. Cleveland is 9-0 since losing Game 4 of last year's NBA Finals.

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