DeMar DeRozan scored added points and Bismack Biyombo grabbed 26 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors ended the Cleveland Cavaliers’ winning streak 99-84 Saturday in the NBA playoffs.
Cleveland’s 10-game playoff win streak was stopped but the Cavs still lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals 2-1. The Eastern Conference series winner will face either defending champion Golden State or Oklahoma City in next month’s NBA Finals. In the first quarter of the game, the Cavs trailed 24-27, but the second quarter looked pretty bad for the Cavs, which has struggled to hit shots.
Toronto led 27-24 after the first quarter and a 22-7 Raptors run late in the second quarter produced a 60-42 edge before the Cavaliers trimmed their half-time deficit to 60-47.
DeRozan scored nine of his 21 first-half points in the crucial spurt in Toronto’s first home Eastern Conference finals game.
By halftime, the Raptors take the lead 60-47, which was the first time leading at the half of this series.
The Cavs and Raptors went into a little mess when both Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph (Toronto Raptors) got their technical fouls as James was hit in the face during the scuffle. The third quarter didn’t help the Cavs much, they tried to close the gap, but Raptors hit a 3-pointer putting the lead back at 10 points.
The Cavaliers, whose playoff start fell one shy of the NBA record 11-0 set by the Los Angeles Lakers, scored only 28-of-79 from the floor and hit only 14-of-41 3-point attempts while being out rebounded 54-40.
There were so many works but thanks to the inside domination of Democratic Republic of Congo center Biyombo, who set a club playoff record for rebounds in a game.
Biyombo dominated this game and scored six consecutive points after Cleveland pulled within 85-77 in the fourth quarter. Teammate Kyle Lowry scored 20 points and Cory Joseph came off the bench to contribute 14 points for the Raptors and to provide defensive perimeter on Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving.
It was a dry game for the Cavs, Irving was a horrid 3-of-19 from the floor and scored only 13 points while forward Kevin Love made only 1-of-9 from the floor.
Irving and Love were crucial in carrying the scoring load in Cleveland’s two victories but contained by the Raptors’ defenders. LeBron James still led Cleveland with 24 points with J.R. Smith added 22 points.
The Cavaliers tried their best, have pulled within 70-65 late in the third period, but the Raptors managed to extend their margin to 80-70 by taking a 3-point buzzer beater courtesy of Cory Joseph.
By the fourth quarter of the game, the Raptors has finally taken the lead, and eventually grabbing their first win of the series and ending Cavs’ postseason winning streak, which is now at 10-1.
Game 4 will be played on Monday at Air Canada Centre while Game 5 is in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Picture Courtesy: TorontoGuy79/Wikimedia Commons
Video Courtesy: BBALLBREAKDOWN/Youtube.com