TORONTO — In a post-season that was supposed to be so different, the story-line was way too familiar. LeBron James racked-up 43 points and 14 assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a very dominant 128-110 throttling of Toronto Raptors Thursday.
Taking a 2-0 lead in the 2nd round and now for game 3 they are taking series back home to Cleveland, where the Raptors have never won in five play-off games.
Cleveland Cavaliers three point specialist Kevin Love quickly added 31 points and topped it off with 11 rebounds.
Raptors star DeMar DeRozan managed only 24 points,Not even close to what he is capable of, while Kyle Lowry was able to only manage 21 for the Toronto Raptors much improving team.
Toronto managed to hand over 2 consecutive games at home, while leading much of the time only to give it up in the final quarters both times. As a credit to the raptors, this was only the first time in their new history making 59-win season.
The big man himself, Jonas Valanciunas chipped in with 16 points of his own and continued with a nice 12 rebound tally.
Fred VanVleet coming back slowly from a shoulder injury racked-up 14 points himself off the bench.
Again Serge Ibaka, M.I.A. for most of the season, did NOT disappoint as he continued his horrible night offering Nothing to the Raptors starting line. — He only managed 2 points from free throw and was shut down 0-for-5 in his shooting attempts.
Two time already Toronto has been dominated by the Cavs in post-season, within the Eastern Conference finals back in 2016 and then again last season, when the Raptors got swept under the rug in the 2nd round, prompting the revamp of the team’s playing style that placed them in the number one spot of the Eastern conference.
Yesterday once more the talented Toronto Raptors led for the most part of the 1st half, never more than 9 points, ended-up holding on to a small two-point advantage going to halftime.
At times it looked like the Cavs were toying with Toronto, Cleveland shifted to a much higher gear at the 3rd quarter, led by Commander and chief James and Sargent Love, whose 24 points in that quarter equalled Toronto’s. Layup by George Hill put the finishing nail on a 18-5 run, soon the caves were sucking the fans energy straight out of the Air Canada Centre.
Cleveland took a 98-87 lead and never looked back.