Thursday, 27 July, 2017

Sore ankle keeps Raptors G Lowry out of starting lineup

Toronto Raptors guard De Mar DeRozan drives to the basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series in Toronto on Friday NBA: Cavs push Raptors to brink
Damon Campbell | 18 May, 2017, 22:37

Most of which coming in garbage time.

LeBron James scored 35 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 115-94 Friday night to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. "We just had to weather the storm".

DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 19 for the Raptors, who were without three-time All-Star Kyle Lowry.

The Cavaliers were not that interested in this game, but they won anyway. They can do that here in Sunday's Game 4.

"We've got to get more than nine points from our bench", Casey said.

So Game 3 was a night to remember for the veteran.

"Our second unit guys came in and gave us a big push", James said. "This year we understood what mindset we had to come in, especially in a rowdy arena like this". Kyle Korver provided a much-needed scoring punch off the bench.

"We were not giving up but they were better than us", Valanciunas said.

"We have to play the way we did in the second half", Lue said. "For whatever reason, it's escaping us right now". A timetable for his return has not been determined. He worked out a few hours before Friday's game and was on the court during warmups but limped back to the locker room before the national anthems.

"He was limping badly", Casey said. It's about going out and playing Cavaliers basketball.

"I just wanted him to get up".

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Cory Joseph was 0-for-4. Lowry was officially available for Game 3, but he didn't touch the court and DeMar DeRozan tried to carry the load, but the Raptors came apart in the fourth and lost.

JR Smith - bringer of much defensive frustration for DeRozan in Games 1 and 2 - got five fouls midway through the third quarter Friday and went to the bench with DeRozan already having 30 points on the sheet. James hit four free throws on either side of a 3-pointer to put the Cavs up 97-80 with 6:20 left.

The 3-0 hole the Raptors find themselves in is the first since they were victims of a sweep two years ago in the first round in Washington.

As a team, the Cavaliers dominated on the rebounding front, holding a 49-25 advantage.

James ended the night with a team-high 35 points, adding eight rebounds and seven assists.

The Cavs earned a week off after sweeping IN in the first round. Toronto lost three in a row from February 8 to 14. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving each finished with 16 points apiece, with Love picking up a double-double with 13 boards. Totals 39-76 24-28 115.

Toronto made just two of 18 three-point attempts, while the Cavs were 13-for-23. James scored 13 points in the fourth quarter. The last Leonard basket was a 3-pointer, and when Danny Green followed with two 3s, the San Antonio lead was 94-82 with 3:15 left. Cleveland has now been 84 points better than Toronto on 3s.

Toronto fans moped to the exits early as their team was outscored 36-17 in the final stanza.

Percentages: FG.513, FT.857. Cleveland trailed at half and led just 79-77 after three.

Percentages: FG.437, FT.941. DeRozan rebounded from a brutal Game 2, but did so by hitting some tough shots. After getting shellacked in Game 1, the Raptors replaced Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll in the starting lineup with Patrick Patterson and Norman Powell, respectively, but the result was the same.

Steals: 9 (DeRozan 3, Powell 2, Wright 2, Joseph, Tucker). "We have to bear down defensively and hold down the fort during the first half".

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