Toronto Raptors look to climb playoff mountain without Kyle Lowry

This scenario is familiar for LeBron James and the Cavs because they have been historically dominant in the postseason since James brought his talents back home after his four-year sojourn in Miami.

Swept out of the second round of the playoffs by James and the defending champion Cavaliers a day earlier, the Raptors weren't offering many answers about their future Monday as they met for exit interviews and end-of-season physicals. However, LeBron quickly showed both Lowry and DeRozan that he wanted to win and stole the show each game, sending the Raptors packing in just four games. It is likely they will get about a week off again until the Eastern Conference Finals begin.

The three time All-Star has emerged as a dominating point guard over the last couple of years. "Whatever it takes to beat the best, that's what I've got to do".

Kyle Korver scored 18 points to help the Cavaliers become the first team to win eight straight playoff games the year following a title, and the first team to win eight straight in consecutive postseasons.

"We understand it's never easy, especially in a close-out game", said Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 11 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter on Sunday and added nine assists. As the entire National Basketball Association world knows, that picture changed drastically on the heels of the Draymond Green suspension and the Cavs rose from the grave to rattle off three straight wins in the now legendary comeback victory.

Toronto coach Dwane Casey suggested the worst prior to Game 4.

Toronto's Serge Ibaka fouls Cleveland's LeBron James during Sunday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers remain undefeated in their first eight National Basketball Association (NBA) play-off games this season.

Cory Joseph, who started for the second straight game in place of injured Kyle Lowry (ankle) had 20 points and 12 assists, while P.J. Tucker finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

"You're going to have to have very flexible defenders", Casey said, "and you're going to have score 117, 118 points a night". He just won D-League coach of the year and led the 905 to a championship in just their second year of existence.

"I think there are times that I think coach did a great job and I think there are times that we struggled", Ujiri said.

If the idea is to get more playoff-ready, you say goodbye to Lowry and try to find an alternative in the marketplace or develop your own.

The 31-year-old Lowry was Toronto's best player in Games 1 and 2 and is also the team's best three-point shooter.

Trailing 53-48 before the run, Washington led 74-53 on Porter's layup with 5 minutes left in the third. He then followed that up with 14 points and six rebounds in game two.

In the Western Conference, the fourth game in a row between San Antonio and Houston was a one-sided encounter.

Tucker closed out the scoring in the third quarter with a 3-pointer from the corner to cut Cleveland's lead to 85-80.

Furthermore, if we define a "blowout" as 10 or more points, here is the percentage of games, by season, which were blowouts.

Jonathon Simmons had 17 points for the Spurs, and Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 apiece.

  • Julie Sanders