James scores 35, Cavs take 3-0 lead with 115-94 victory
May 13 2017 by Dustin Murphy
In Houston, Aldridge was especially unsafe from in the paint in game three as the Spurs took a 2-1 lead in the second-round Western Conference series.
Unlike in the games in Cleveland, the Raptors kept the Cavs from building a huge first-quarter lead.
But when it was winning time, the Cavaliers quickly put an end to the Raptors' resistance in Game 3. Instead, DeRozan had 36 points through three quarters, and the Cavs were ahead by two going to the fourth.
He said his team can't go with the rope-a-dope strategy against the champs; they've got try to hit them back, and throw a whole mix of punches in the process (including some "below the belt"). But when the pressure was on, they responded, just as they did when the games with IN got tight. But he had just one in the fourth as he wore down.
Korver opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer.
"I loved the way our guys competed", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "There was no back down".
Toronto playmaker Kyle Lowry skipped the game due to a left ankle sprain sustained in Game Two. He participated in the warmup and was listed as active for the game, but Cory Joseph started in his place.
"He just couldn't go", Casey said. "He wanted to. The medical people said he shouldn't try to go". When James left the floor with 3:27 remaining, the Cavs had outscored the Raptors 26-7 in the fourth, with 13 points from James. Kyle Korver had his best playoff game for Cleveland with 14 points shooting 4-of-6 from three, plus even getting a block. 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 Air Canada Centre crowd that included Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and rapper Drake.
As it happened, that was the second alcohol-related moment in this series for James, who apparently feels about as threatened by the Raptors as a bouncer does by a cocktail fork.
"In addition to busting his butt on (defense) and trying to hit the boards for us, he was a big help tonight". "I knew it was bothering him, but I didn't know till late, till they did starting lineups, that he wasn't gonna go. We had to come back by playing great basketball, and we did that". The Cavaliers outrebounded the Raptors 49-25.
Cavaliers forward LeBron James, right, shoots over Raptors forward Serge Ibaka during the second half of Game 3 of their second-round series Friday night in Toronto.
"It hasn't worked out the way we wanted it to", DeRozan said of the hole his Raptors are in. "When you see them knocking down their threes, it's kind of deflating".
Delon Wright also saw a bump in playing time off the bench, but he scored two points and had a plus-minus of minus-10 in 12 minutes.
The Cavs offense started strong in the opening minutes, led by Kevin Love's 10 first quarter points.
As the Raptors were picking up Ibaka and Tucker around the deadline, the Cavs brought in a three-point shooting specialist, Kyle Korver. His 22.4 points per game marked a career high and he chipped in with 7.0 assists per outing. After going 9-16 (56.25 percent) from two point range in the first quarter, the Cavs only went 3-14 (21.4 percent) from that range in the second quarter.