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Cavs, Celts go up 2-0
05 May 2018, 01:39 | Stacy Ballard
Cavs, Celts go up 2-0
LeBron James scored 43 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers powered to a 128-110 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday (Friday in Manila) to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their National Basketball Association second-round playoff series.
Having topped the Eastern Conference this season, the Raptors arrived into the series as favorites, particularly given the lack of support LeBron received from his supporting cast in the first-round, but now stare at the prospect of being swept away.
Even ESPN got in on the joke, telling viewers they would be coming back to LeBronto as it cut to a commercial after a third quarter that saw Toronto outscored 37-24 as the Cavs shot.727 from the field.
In the fourth, James closed the door entirely, putting on an exhibition from midrange with a series of unguardable daggers.
Whether in the arena or watching from home, it was clear that the Raptors and their crowd were completely deflated by the Cleveland Cavaliers by the second half, fuelled by LeBron James' 43 point (19-28 shooting!), 14 assist decimation.
Scroll over each season for points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks details. It took one superhuman effort after another by LeBron to just win a game. When Toronto's best players gave so much and still fell short, the Raptors have to wonder how much more should they ask?
"We still got a long way to go, man".
Kevin Love, averaging less than 11 points per game this post-season, emerged from his offensive slump to added 31 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs. "You go to win four games to win a series and it starts with the next game".
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I write this (deadline tyranny, once more), Cleveland was up 114-98 over Toronto in Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, time down to 6:07.
While Al Horford spent the most time of any Celtics player matched-up on Simmons - 27 of 61 possessions - it didn't make a difference who was guarding the 76ers playmaker as he was blanked all night.
The architect of that defense was none other than current Raptors coach Dwane Casey.
From his point of view, however, the Game 2 performance was his own doing.
Lowry finished with 21 points on an efficient 7-of-10 shooting but most of his points came during a hot first half.
DeMar Derozan was the Toronto Raptors leading scorer once again with 23 points and he also recorded two assists. But sometimes you're going to butt heads, and I mean, my entire life and my entire pro career - this is going to be my 10th year - I've spent the majority of my time at the 4 position and the power forward position.
The Toronto Raptors inability to hurt the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason is reminiscent of how Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls used to end the season early for Mark Price, Larry Nance and Brad Daugherty.
Cleveland took control as Smith scored six points in an 18-5 spurt to begin the third quarter. Love went 5-for-5 with DeRozan and Miles on him.
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