Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry gametime decision for Game 3 against Cavaliers

The last time Toronto lost three consecutive games was February 8-14.Last season when the teams met in the Eastern Conference finals, the Raptors won Game 3 and Game 4 at home after the Cavaliers won the first two games in Cleveland.

The series moves to Toronto for Game 3 on Friday at 7 p.m. EST.

Even without Lowry, the Raptors trailed 79-77 to begin the fourth, but Cleveland pulled away as Toronto missed 10 of its first 11 field goal attempts to begin the final quarter.

If DeRozan had gotten any significant help, the Raptors probably would've built a decent lead by the end of the third quarter, and perhaps they would've won it with the support of their home crowd down the stretch.

James has been soaring up a variety of scoring lists all season. "So for us not to have him anything close to 100 per cent, it would be hard on us", DeRozan said. "They played well, we shake their hand". "And we're a different team".

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

Head coach Dwane Casey's one lament, besides the obvious poor night from behind the arc, was that he didn't get more from his bench in this one. "There was no back down". As Toronto's main screeners, they act as the release valve for Lowry and DeRozan.

"You hear a name like Kareem, a guy who's done so many great things, not only as an individual but as a teammate", James said. "He was limping badly". Love had one of his best games in the postseason, posting a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, but this was James' show.

In addition to James, the Cavaliers got double-digit scoring production from power forward Kevin Love, point guard Kyrie Irving and reserve shooting guard Kyle Korver. "He wanted to, the trainers and Alex (McKechnie, the team's director of sports science) and the medical people said he shouldn't try to go, he was just in so much pain (but) he wanted to". "Tonight, we did that once again".

"We came in here (last year) and weren't prepared", Kyrie Irving said.

LeBron provided all the insight future opponents need in going up against him going into the series.

"I don't know, I'm just, I'm feeling pretty good", James said. The Cavaliers outrebounded the Raptors 49-25.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 19 points and eight rebounds, with Norman Powell chipping in with 13 points and Serge Ibaka adding 12 for Toronto. They shot 2-of-18 overall to the Cavs' 13-of-23 (a 33-point disparity).

"It's tough", DeRozan said. "He came out with big shot after big shot and then in the fourth he hit a big two". You see them knocking down 3s left and right, getting to their spots, it's kind of deflating. The Cavs lead 3-0 and no team has ever dug out of such a hole in the National Basketball Association playoffs.

DeRozan scored one point in the fourth quarter.

Those Celtics, however, did not have to log the same mileage as James since the bulk of their reign came during a period when the National Basketball Association had fewer than 10 teams, meaning fewer playoff rounds.

"Mentally I had never been a part of it so I didn't know exactly how much commitment and how much sacrifice that you got to make not only for yourself but for your team".

"We're coming home, let's take care of home", Casey said. "And, for whatever reason, couldn't get started".

"I don't dwell on the past", LeBron James said in a TNT postgame interview.

"For myself, I just focus on that game".

"I work on my craft".

The Cavaliers are the only team since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1949 and 1950 to win their first seven playoff games in consecutive seasons. They are 7-0 in these playoffs, 10-0 in the postseason dating back to the Finals last season.

  • Salvatore Jensen