The Cleveland Cavaliers is one win away before they reach the NBA finals after beating the Toronto Raptors, 116-78, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavaliers ‘Big 3’, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, led the team with combined 71 points to stop the Toronto Raptors’ dominance and lead the series 3-2.
As expected, the homecourt advantage became a huge factor in the Eastern Conference finals matchup where both teams managed to win at home. However, the Game 5-win of the Cavaliers seemed to be too much after they mercilessly killed the Raptors with a 38-point lead.
The hot start of the Cavaliers seemed to be a big factor to early predict the outcome of the game. They managed to end the first quarter with an 18-point lead and stretch the gap up to the second quarter with 31 points. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Raptors have never trailed by 30 points at the half, regular season or playoffs, in franchise history meaning that the Cavaliers are the first team to give them a 31-point deficit at the half.
The return of Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas did not affect the Cavaliers performance and continue to dominate the Raptors until the end of the game. Many have noticed that Valanciunas’ dominance under the basket was lessen compared to his earlier performances against the Miami Heat.
“I was feeling pretty good. Not that I was [really] tired, but yeah I have to get back my rhythm and cover a lot of areas,” Valanciunas said. “I wasn’t great on defense. I missed a couple helps, a couple rebound block outs. I have to get that back.”
Raptors’ head coach Dwane Casey decided to rest their two stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry to prepare them for Game 6.
Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors will be on Friday, May 27 at the Air Canada Centre.
Here are some of the game highlights in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors:
Photo courtesy: NBA.com
Video courtesy: Youtube/Ximo Pierto Final