For the second time this season, the Toronto Raptors gave the Cleveland Cavaliers all they could handle, just as they did a couple of times during the Eastern Conference Finals back in May. And for the second time this season, the Cavs pulled out a win, just as they had during the Eastern Conference Finals.
The game was close throughout, and at times had the feel of a playoff game. There’s no question that the Raptors badly want to be on the same level with the Cavs. They’re just not there.
LeBron James carried much of the load, scoring 28 points, on just 15 shots, to go along with 14 assists and nine rebounds. He did this with all-time great Oscar Robertson in attendance at Quicken Loans Arena. He also did it right on the heels of a controversy involving a back-and-forth with another all-time great, Phil Jackson. It is possible that either of these things caused LeBron to be especially locked in. Or maybe neither had anything to do with it, and it was just LeBron being LeBron.
Kyrie Irving scored 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the floor. He hit a big three to give the Cavs a one-point lead with two minutes left, though Toronto quickly got the lead back. It wasn’t until Channing Frye’s three with one minute left that they took the lead for good, as they were able to hang on down the stretch.
Not to be overlooked, Kevin Love had 19 points and 13 rebounds. He struggled with his shot early and at other times during the game, but he stayed involved. That seems to be the new norm for him; long gone are the days where he would become easily frustrated on nights when he wasn’t scoring.
For the Raptors, Kyle Lowry had 28 points and DeMar DeRozan had 26, but it wasn’t enough.
The Cavs now have a quick turnaround and will play the Pacers in Indianapolis tomorrow night.