Alas, that was not to be and the Raps wound up on the wrong end of a 115-94 score and are now just a game away from a second four-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the past three years. In all three games against the Raptors he has hit that points total.
The Cavaliers took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter and took command of the game with a 20-3 run. 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.
Toronto Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry missed the team's morning shootaround due to his ankle injury and is a game-time decision for Friday night's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series. Lowry remained on the bench for the whole game.
Without Lowry, the Raptors were simply not able to give DeRozan enough help. Ibaka is 1-for-10 in the first quarter, allowing the Cavs to get in rhythm and once in control, they are hard to knock off.
Coming into this series off three straight wins over the Milwaukee Bucks, it was the only time over four consecutive post-seasons in which the Raptors had played up to their ability, had seen their stars perform well and had quelled the concerns about whether this group could win in the playoffs.
The Raptors didn't start Jonas Valanciunas, but he led them with 23 points. Over a four minute stretch, he nearly single-handedly turned a seven point lead into nineteen and the Cavs never looked back.More news: Colorado man to be freed early now in immigration custody
Instead a 2-for-18 night from distance ruined an otherwise solid showing for three quarters by a Raptors team that was playing without its starting point guard.
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. The team fared surprisingly well, going 14-7 in his absence. The Cavaliers went into the fourth quarter with a 2 point lead. "We tried to mix it up and in the fourth quarter, he got out of rhythm". James bumped the lead to nine points on two free throws with 8:56 to play. The win now gives the Cavs a commanding 3-0 advantage in the series and puts them one victory away from their third straight appearance in the conference finals. They opened the playoffs with a 7-0 record in 1949 and did it again in 1950.
Toronto Raptors Game 3 (live stream online and score below) of the Eastern Conference semifinals resumes tonight with the Cavs leading the series 2-0 in the 2017 National Basketball Association playoffs. James had eight rebounds and seven assists. That means Sunday is possibly his last game with the Raptors.
Turnovers: 16 (James 5, Love 4, Dero.Williams 3, Smith 2, Derr.Williams, Irving).
He scored 17 points in the third quarter, after which the Cavs led 99-73. At this point, it feels like the only shot the Raptors have got. But even with a Toronto defender present and in their face, the Cavs shot 60 per cent on those attempts.
It was clear from the start that the Spurs were going to defend with increased vigor despite the loss of Parker. The Raptors missed 11 of their first 12 field-goal attempts in the fourth. Yet the Rockets led 21-19 entering the second quarter.