Raptors face serious questions down 3-0 to Cavaliers
- Author: Julie Sanders May 08, 2018,
May 08, 2018, 14:19
The fourth-seeded Cavaliers completed a sweep of the top-seeded Toronto Raptors on Monday, getting great performances from all their starters en route to a resounding 128-93 victory in Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Casey said he took little consolation from the fact his team had chances to win Games 1 and 3 in the series but fell short.
In his last three home games, James has made two last-second shots and scored 45 points in a win-or-else Game 7.
"We have one more game, our pride is on the line, basically our season is on the line", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "Even in the beginning of the year when I got here I was thinking a lot, trying to be flawless, trying to make the right play rather than being aggressive".
The contributions from Cleveland's supporting cast came two days after "Saturday Night Live" poked fun at the team in a skit entitled "The Other Cavaliers", which didn't air but went viral on social media.
James had 29 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds and showed off more than few party tricks with Cleveland turning the screw on the Raptors as the game wore on.
"All three games have presented different plays that would have to be done at certain points of the game to get over the hump", veteran C.J. Miles said prior to Monday morning's shootaround.
But instead of cleaning up those mistakes that had plagued them, Toronto's small lineup was continually punished on Monday night. The Cavs' starting point guard's second slam came after he grabbed a defensive rebound and proceeded to dribble coast-to-coast for a one-handed dunk.
So what if Game 1 - the series' tone-setter, a grand opportunity squandered by the Raptors against a exhausted, still shaky Cavs crew - went to overtime. "They've built a very good team that can succeed in the postseason".
Toronto tied the score at 40 on a layup by Miles with seven minutes remaining in the second quarter before Cleveland concluded the half with a 23-7 burst.
The Raptors were led in scoring by Jonas Valanciunas, who came off the bench for the first time this series and finished with 18 points.
"Right now, he's just relishing these moments", forward Kyle Korver said.
DeRozan was held to 13 points by the swarming Cavs defense. James went from scoring more than 36 percent of the Cavs' points against IN to a less taxing 28.7 percent against Toronto.
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With Saturday's loss, the Raptors have now dropped five straight to Cleveland, and 14 of 16 overall, including 10 straight outright losses in the post-season since 2016. And even Cleveland has blown a 3-0 lead, albeit again in hockey, and that was of the minor league variety in 1960. After coming into these playoffs with title hopes, Toronto has again been unable to solve LeBron James.
"We wanted to take away DeRozan and we wanted to take away their bench", said Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue. Total Fouls-Toronto 24, Cleveland 21. He had 15 points in the third quarter to hammer the nail into the Toronto coffin.
Percentages: FG.456, FT.739. James got plenty of points but the six-foot-eight Anunoby didn't make it easy.
Big shots. Timely blocks.