The Cleveland Cavaliers survive at home

LeBron James Klay Thompson Mychal Thompson

This was supposed to be the Raptors season, the one that ended in triumph over James.

Toronto had their chances to get back in the series but failed to do so. Toronto has been excellent at the charity stripe, drilling an even 80.6 percent of their opportunities. Loperana also won his first-round game on the road, and most don't know that Granada Hills did not have ONE All-City player on its roster.

One player who had a really rough night shooting the basketball for the Raptors was star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who finished with only eight points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field before coach Casey chose to bench him late in the third quarter.

DeRozan finished with eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, inefficient across the board, and zero points in the fourth quarter.

His heroics continued through the first round against the Indiana Pacers. "Like I told you in the in series, that mental clock of being a kid and just kind of telling myself, "Three, two, one" and making the noise of the net, that whoop sound, I've been doing that since I was 6, 7, 8 years old, maybe even before that".

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After the Raptors tied it on rookie OG Anunoby's three-pointer with eight seconds left, James took the inbounds pass, dribbled the length of the court and rose off the floor on the left side of the basket just feet from Toronto's bench. They have been 13th out of 16 playoff teams in defensive rating.

Love scored nine straight Cleveland points, including two free-throws that accounted for a 77-61 edge. He's averaging 34.8 points, his highest in the playoffs since 2009, with 9.5 rebounds and a career-best 8.8 assists. JR Smith is just two threes shy of passing Chauncey Billups (267 3FGM) for ninth place on that list while his fellow starter, Kyle Korver (218 3FGM), is only four three-pointers made away from moving past Jason Terry (221 3FGM) for 15th all-time in postseason play. "I've seen him shoot that shot, that game-winner, countless times when he's messing around in shootaround and practice". He has now led Cleveland in points and assists in 11 consecutive playoff games, passing Oscar Robertson (10 such games) for the longest such streak in National Basketball Association postseason history. The Cavaliers could easily be down 2-1 in this series but relied on James making the clutch buckets when the team needed them the most.

Casey did not discuss his decision with DeRozan on the bench or after the game.

Ujiri broke into the NBA as an global scout for the Denver Nuggets, then became a scouting director and later an assistant general manager for the Raptors before rejoining the Nuggets as vice president of basketball operations. He has had tough games before he'll bounce back. He carries one city, crushes the other. I'm like, 'When would you shoot a shot like that?' Apparently to win a playoff game. "We're here to fight, and with my guys on the court, I'm going to fight as hard (as) I can for these guys - whatever it takes". It's unfortunate; especially looking at the fact we had 59 wins and were one of the best home teams in the league. Now the question is whether he regroups to get Toronto back in the series or not. James, as he had done all night, stepped up to get the job done and gave the Cavs a 3-0 stranglehold on the Eastern Conference semifinal. There's not much a team can do other than try to avoid that situation altogether.

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