The Cleveland Cavaliers cruised past the Toronto Raptors 108-89 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Just two days after beating the Raptors by 31, the Cavs gave their fans an encore, dispatching the Toronto by 19. LeBron led the team with a triple double, racking up 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in 34 minutes.
During the first quarter of the game it looked as if Toronto's decision to start Luis Scola in place of Patrick Patterson was going to pay off. Strong team defense and a hot shooting quarter propelled the Raptors, while the Cavs struggled to find the form that they displayed in the first game of the series. DeMar DeRozan hurt the Cavaliers by hitting a variety of contested shots, similar to his Game 1 performance, and the Raptors were creating second chance points by grabbing big offensive rebounds. The Cavs for their part were shooting well and getting to the free throw line in a closely contested game. Cleveland scrapped their way to a two point lead at the close of the opening frame but the Raptors looked tenacious and ready for the challenge of the playing the Cavs.
For the first eight minutes of the second quarter, it looked as if the Cavs were in for a fight, but that changed quickly. During the final four minutes of the second, the Cavs separated from the Raptors, going on a 14-2 run and holding the Raptors to 0-9 shooting from the field. LeBron led all scorers at the half with 17 while Kevin Love had 15 and Kyrie chipped in 12. Thanks to the stretch of dominance to close the quarter the Cavs headed to the locker with a 62-48 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.
The third quarter was an extension of the final four minutes of the second. The Cavaliers held the Raptors to just 21 points in the third and extended their lead to 17 by the end of the quarter. Kyrie Irving paced the Cavs on offense with 10 points, making a variety of driving layups and pull up jumpers.
In the third quarter, LeBron also moved into fourth place on the all time playoff scoring list, passing Shaquille O'Neal.
The fourth quarter was not dissimilar to the fourth frame of the series opener. The Cavaliers locked up the win in the early stages of the quarter, thanks to a master class in basketball from LeBron, and Tyronn Lue brought in the back end of the bench to wrap up the game. After Game 1 the Raptors players were adamant that there was nothing to worry about, but the Cavs have now dominated Lowry and company for two full games and Toronto looks like they're still searching for answers.
The Cavaliers have now won their first 10 games of the postseason, earning Tyronn Lue the best playoff start as a head coach in NBA history. The Cavaliers now hold a 2-0 lead as the series heads to Toronto and will look to continue full steam ahead when Game 3 tips off Saturday night.