Toronto started out Game 2 of its Eastern Conference semifinal matchup against the Cavaliers strong on Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors held the lead for nearly all of the opening two quarters, and built up a solid nine-point lead. It looked like they were on track to avenge their overtime Game 1 loss on Tuesday.
Then, LeBron James kicked it into gear.
Cleveland rallied from the slow start and took off in the second half to cruise to a dominant 128-110 win in Toronto, giving the Cavaliers a 2-0 series lead.
After slipping into a slight hole early on, the Cavaliers mounted a 16-2 run to close out the first half that carried over to the third quarter to give them a six point lead.
The third quarter belonged solely to James, and marked the true turning point in the game. He dropped 15 points, and scored or assisted on 30 of the Cavaliers’ 37 points that quarter, giving them an 11 point lead.
From there, the Raptors seemed defeated, and quickly fell into an 23-point hole in the fourth quarter. The Air Canada Centre had fallen quiet, and the close game that took place in the opening 24 minutes of the game was completely gone.
James finished the game with 43 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds, shooting 19-of-28 from the field. He didn’t run the table by himself, though. Kevin Love had just as impressive of a night. Love dropped 31 points in the win, shooting 52.4 percent from the field, and grabbing 11 rebounds. Combined, the pair had 74 points shooting 30-of-49 from the field.
The Raptors still had an impressive showing statistically. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry dropped 24 and 21 points, respectively. Center Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, they shot better than 50 percent from the field, made 12 3-pointers, and shot 90 percent from the free throw line. Yet they simply couldn’t stop James and the Cavaliers’ offensive attack.
Game 3 of the series will take place on Saturday in Cleveland.
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