The Cavaliers couldn’t have won that game, right?
Cleveland played Game 1 in Toronto after playing a little over 48 hours ago. LeBron James shot 12-of-30 from the field. Kevin Love shot 3-of-13 from the field, yet somehow the Cavaliers managed to steal one game north of the border.
The major concern for most Cavaliers’ fans during the opening series was the lack of help for LeBron James. Well, looks like the help has arrived. Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith were fantastic from deep, combining to shoot 10-of-18 and bailing the Cavs out of numerous bad possessions.
Off the bench, Tristan Thompson and Jeff Green were huge, giving Cleveland 30 points combined. Thompson looked like his 2016 self and continued to prove why he deserves to start against Toronto and match up against Jonas Valanciunas. The Cavaliers’ big man grabbed 12 boards and created extra opportunities for Cleveland.
On the flip side, Jonas Valanciunas owned the Cavs’ small unit. He routinely punished Kevin Love down low and was abusing Cleveland on the glass, with 21 rebounds of his own. DeMar DeRozan was his usual self, adding 22 points.
The Raptors were in control for a majority of the game, but could never really put Cleveland away. At one point, their largest lead was 14 points, but the Cavs would continually find a way to stay in the game.
The biggest positive for Cleveland moving into Game 2 will be their three-point shooting. They shot 40 percent from deep, even with Love and James combining to go 2-of-12.
This was a back-breaking loss for the No. 1 seed in the East, who had played like the more consistent team all season long and was more rested coming into the game. It took 82 games during the regular season for the Raptors to earn home court, but the Cavaliers have taken it back in one.
Up next: Game 2 will tip-off on Thursday in Air Canada Centre. Game is set to start earlier than normal at 6 PM EST.