Toronto had a brutal opening, trailing by 12 in the first quarter before clawing its way back.
For the Raptors, Kyle Lowry continues to be the team’s beacon of hope after he was the only player on his team to score more than 20 points (27) in Game 3.
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith (5) during Game 3 of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
James registered a game-high 38 points (14-26 FG, 9-11 FT), seven assists, six rebounds, three steals and one block in 41 minutes during the Game 3 victory.
We don’t even play H-O-R-S-E but if we were to play H-O-R-S-E that probably would be the shot that he went to. James hit a number of ferociously baffling fadeaway jump shots in the second half of the contest that made it look like he was playing against himself.
“I told y’all in the in series, that mental clock of being a kid and telling myself “3, 2, 1″ and making the noise of the net”. It didn’t sound like DeRozan was given an explanation for the surprising move, but the group Toronto had on the floor cut down a significant deficit, so Casey likely just stuck with what was working. In the final sequence of the second quarter, LeBron James drove the lane and then found Kevin Love at the top of the arc for a wide-open three-pointer. First he helmed some of the greatest squads ever assembled, led by Magic Johnson, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy, then he couldn’t get by Jordan, then he drafted Dwyane Wade, paired him with another future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in Shaquille O’Neal and finally got a Jordan/Magic/Shaq caliber player on his side once again in James and added two more titles. “That’s way more time than I needed”.
The Cavs are a team of bad habits on defense, or at least they were during the regular season.
Cleveland led the Indiana Pacers by 17 at halftime of Game 3 and lost; by 16 during Game 4 and blew it, though the Cavs won the game; and by 14 in Game 7. “We still won the game”. “But it’s not long enough is the way I want to describe it”. It definitely sucks to be watching … we’ve got to give credit to those guys.
“It’s been a while since we’ve felt good (defensively) for a full 48 minutes”, DeRozan said on Saturday morning. Obviously that did not happen, as LeBron James pulled off yet another brilliant late-game miracle to push his team to a 3-0 lead over Toronto. Now the question is whether he regroups to get Toronto back in the series or not. Cleveland has seen the over go 4-1 in their last five on one day of rest, 4-1 in their last five overall and 4-1 in their last five against the Eastern Conference.
The difference in the two teams is simple: One has James, the other doesn’t.