The matchup that will decide this series is LeBron James vs. whatever number of bodies Dwane Casey and the Raptors decide to throw at him.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Cleveland then the series shifts to Toronto for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday.
"That was the mystery coming into the game, how we would come out?" The Cavs' fourth-quarter heroes clearly didn't have it.
But even before the Raptors could enjoy that turnaround the lead was right back up to eight as two quick threes and a non-call on a driving Lowry at the other end put the Cavs right back in charge.
Down 12 after one quarter, the Raptors were barley, er, barely in this game, and they'll need to nip that in the Bud if they want to make this a competitive series.
The Cavs relied on a combination of "Playoff LeBron", brute strength and 3-point shooting to hand the Raptors their fourth loss in five meetings this season.
DeMarre Carroll - whose place in the starting lineup might be in jeopardy in this series - was a -15 in 15 minutes, scoring three points.
"We blitzed and did a great job of taking DeRozan out of the game", Lue said. We didn't play to our game. Bird's story is well known to millions - the small-town prep star who led Indiana State to the 1979 NCAA championship game against Magic Johnson, won three MVP Awards and three National Basketball Association titles in Boston, and then helped the Dream Team capture Olympic gold in 1992. "Gotta live in the present".
Raptors: Have lost last four postseason games in Cleveland by an average 24.7 points. Thompson posted a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
In the first game of Monday's doubleheader, the Cleveland Cavaliers laid to rest all of the "they're going to be rusty" rumors they have heard since sweeping the Pacers in the first round.
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan lead the effort for the Raptors, finishing with 20 and 19 points, respectively. It led to a quiet confidence heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors on Monday.
"It seems the same [as last season]", Lowry said. They've got a lot of fight in them. But first, they have to find a way to even get Cleveland's full attention. "But we have to find a way to not let them get going".
Cleveland scored 12 more points on 3s than the Raptors (14 3-pointers to 10) and seven more from the foul line. The Raptors blew a 25-point lead to Milwaukee in the first round, while the Cavs overcame a 25-point deficit and pulled off the biggest second-half rally in playoff history.
"There was enough positive things in there, we had, what, 22 assists I think it was; we missed so many open shots, open looks that I know guys can knock down". Jones, who signed with the Cavs on the final day of the regular season, is earning only $9,127 in salary with the team - a prorated amount of the veteran's minimum contract he inked. It will cost him $6,000 in fines.
A year ago the franchise bought him for $US9000 on the final day of the regular season, and it did the same again this season. And, yes, once again, LeBron James will be paying Jones' fine. "You know, my momentum just took me to the sideline, and then, I'm not going to run over our beer lady, you know? Obviously, his next stop is the Hall of Fame".
"But yeah, he don't have to worry about it".
And the Cavs can't lose unless they go ice cold and beat themselves. As soon as James got his hands on the ball, it was essentially two guaranteed points, regardless of how flashy the finish turned out to be.
James was again the centre of attention, especially with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter and Cleveland doing it easily ahead 88-71.