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LeBron and Cavs maintain sway over the Raptors

04 May 2018

LeBron James, perhaps gassed from his herculean efforts to get the Cavs to the second round, shot just 12-of-30 in the game. In Game 2 the Cavaliers started attacking, running corner picks for love that got him across the lane for dunks. It was his fourth playoff game with 40-plus points and 10-plus assists, breaking a tie with Michael Jordan, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.

James, meanwhile, gave credit to Love, who shot 11 for 21 and missed matching his career playoff high by one point.

This is the third consecutive year these two teams have met in the playoffs, and third time the Cavs won Game 1.

Tonight's Cavs Sound Off video includes dancing in the streets, flipping head over heels, and a chorus of praise over the Game 2 defeat of the Toronto Raptors, ending in a 128 - 110 victory.

If James' much reviled supporting cast starts consistently contributing like that, the East may be there for the taking again. James scored 27 points after the break, as the Cavs built an insurmountable lead. You could feel the energy of the fans and the confidence of the Raptors players drain away. Those were the totality of the Cavs' scores in overtime. Against LeBron, Lowry had just 2 points on 1-4 shooting, missing his only 3-point attempt.

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On Thursday, James warmed up as the game wore on before hitting a second-half groove. Jeff Green and Tristan Thompson contributed effectively from the bench.

It was an impressive win for the Cavaliers and it came despite Kevin Love having another hard night. We just didn't make the shots down the stretch.

"We came out with a sense of urgency", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. It is safe to say that LeBron will have to play well in this week's games for the Cavs to have a chance of moving on to the conference finals.

Obviously, the strategy didn't work, and the Cavs will nearly surely adjust for Game 2.

"It's the only option, (that's) how we look at it, we don't look at it no other way", DeMar DeRozan said, his basketball cap pulled down low.

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"This morning you could just sense it", Love said.

Cleveland also shot an impressive 52 per cent from the field and 50 per cent from three off LeBron's passes alone. Toronto had a small lead most of the quarter, but could not extend it when LeBron sat at the end of the first.

By midway through the second quarter, Love had found his range and rhythm.

After the Cavs erased a 2-point halftime deficit and took an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter, Jones referred to the Raptors' home city as "LeBronto".

Love has responded well, scoring more points (10) in the first quarter than he had in all of Game 1 (7).

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In this case, Sabbatini was third way back in 2007, third again in 2011 and eighth as recently in 2014, when generally struggling. Therefore, looking at the leaderboard from previous year becomes irrelevant. "I thought that this was one I had in control".

James can not be expected to keep carrying his team to improbable victories, and even if the Cavs have the Raptors' number, the Boston Celtics or the Philadelphia 76ers will be formidable opposition in the East final.

LeBron and Cavs maintain sway over the Raptors