Toronto Raptors' season of promise ends in ugly blowout in Cleveland

Mae Harvey
May 9, 2018

LeBron James scored 29 points as Cleveland Cavaliers secured a 4-0 series win over Toronto Raptors and ensure their place in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

You can excuse the top-seeded Raptors if they had a sense of deja vu during the loss, as Toronto was not only swept by the Cavs in last year's conference semifinals, but also lost the 2016 Eastern Conference finals to Cleveland in six games.

Derozan has yet to sink a three-point shot in the series in only nine attempts, despite respectable 22 and 24 point outings in Games 1 and 2, respectively.

He also sank a key three-pointer - after a nifty pump fake - with eight seconds left in Game 3, to tie the game at 103-103.

When theCleveland Cavaliers barely squeaked by the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs, not many people gave them a chance against the top-seeded Toronto Raptors.

"The cause of lack of sleep at night when you can replay the game and see so many turning points". Kevin Love, Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, Jeff Green, and George Hill each averaged double-digit points per game while shooting efficiently in the second round. Yes, he provided 10 assists, but you expect more than five points in a do-or-die game, with the season on the line.

The matchup was LeBron's 42nd playoff series and the first he has ever won without having a single teammate contributing 20 or more points in a single game. Just like past year, the Raptors were mercilessly swept by Cleveland in the second round even though the Raptors brandished a better defense, a more 3-point oriented offense, and one of the strongest benches in the league. "They're always able to will their team to a win, a victory, making the right pass or play or making the big shot".

I guess we shouldn't be surprised that LeBron has worked on his game so much that he's logged considerable practice time on wrong-legged, hang-in-the-air-forever, bank shots at the buzzer.

"The team just seemed to catch up to LeBron", Pluto said.

"You just get the ball to 'Bron at the end of the game, he has been producing for us all season, his whole career", Lue said Sunday as the Cavaliers got ready for Monday's Game 4.

If LeBron James says a shot is "very hard", you know it's not easy.

Toronto played a physical game, harassing and bumping James at every turn. But I knew mentally, maybe, what was going on in their head.

But Miles picked up two quick fouls and the Cavs' offense was in gear from the start as Cleveland opened 12 of 15 from the floor while building a 26-17 lead.

"Everyone had counted Cleveland out", said Toronto coach Dwane Casey, whose could be fired. Lue believes the Pacers prepared Cleveland to contend with Toronto.

During the regular season, the Cavaliers topped the Celtics two-out-of-three times and split the four-game season series with the 76ers. Cleveland won just 50, but are now poised to eliminate the Raptors from the playoffs.

James is first all-time in playoff points, third in assists and seventh in total rebounds.

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