"Sunday's game is about pride", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
HOUSTON - LaMarcus Aldridge scored at will in the paint before the San Antonio Spurs turned a late barrage of 3-pointers into a 103-92 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Friday night at Toyota Center. The Toronto Raptors have won eight of their last 10 home games.
"I know he was working to get it going, see how he felt shooting", DeMar DeRozan said of Lowry.
Here's what we learned from this one.
Cleveland led by as many as nine points in the second quarter before the Raptors tied it at 43 on a layup by Ibaka with 3:41 to play in the first half. Kyle Korver provided a much-needed scoring punch off the bench.
"So for us not to have him anything close to 100 per cent, it would be hard on us", DeRozan said. However, after getting completely shut down in Game 2, his backcourt partner DeMar DeRozan re-emerged by scoring 21 points during the first two quarters and finishing with 37 points.
Then Cleveland found another gear - specifically, LeBron found another gear, but as a team the Cavs shot 11-of-14 and 4-of-5 from three in the fourth. James hit 15-of-16 free throws.
Without Lowry, the Raptors were simply not able to give DeRozan enough help.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on a roll without a single 2017 National Basketball Association playoff game loss, and they're looking to make it 7-0 in game three against the Toronto Raptors.
In Cleveland's four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers, James did it all, almost averaging a triple-double with 32.8 points per game on 54.3 percent shooting. Assists-Cleveland 15 (James 7), Toronto 17 (Joseph 6).
"I think three quarters last night we just played extremely aggressive and tried to take away everything we could take away", DeRozan said. The lead continued to stretch, as the Cavs locked down the Raptors on defense and the lead continued to grow, slowly ballooning from a 2 point lead to a game-high 23 point lead as the quarter progressed and quickly put the game out of reach for the Raptors. They finished just 2-of-18 (.111 pct.) from long range.
The Cavs outscored the Raptors in the second half 66-42 and more than made up for their slow start.
Charity Stripe: The Cavs shot 85.7 percent from the free throw line, hitting 24-of-28. The fans were all decked in white shirts printed with red maple leafs and they booed LeBron James each time he touched the ball. The Cavs also dominated the boards in this game, outrebounding the Raptors 49-25. Kevin Love had 16 points on 9 shots to go with 13 rebounds in 32 minutes and looked as good offensively as he has this postseason. And when Brampton, Ont., native Tristan Thompson scored with 5:47 to play, it gave the Cavs a 99-80 lead, much to the dismay of the noisy, white-clad crowd that included Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and rapper Drake.
The game began with some bad news from a Raptors' perspective when Lowry, who looked to have made a stunningly quick recovery from a Game 2 ankle injury, had his night end in the pre-game warmups when he abruptly left the court and headed back to the locker room.