On Monday night, it was a rematch of round 2 between the Toronto Raptors and the reigning and defending NBA Champions the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James led the way and he had 35 points and 10 rebounds. Lowry led the way for the Toronto he had 20 points and a playoff career-high with 11 assists. Cleveland destroyed the Raptors 116-105 in the opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Setting the tone early
The Cleveland Cavaliers had eight days off and it showed they wanted to send a message to the Raptors. LeBron James put on a show on when he connected with an alley-oop dunk, it was tossed off the backboard by Kyrie Irving within the first three minutes of the first quarter. The Cavs came out guns blazing it was 30-18 at the end of the first quarter and the game over.
Live and die from deep
The game was decided by the three point shot. Raptors connected with 10 of 26 from three-point range. On paper, it seemed like good numbers but they missed numerous three when the game was in reach at one point. The Cavaliers went 14 of 34 from long range. Both teams rely heavily on shooting from deep, therefore, which team shoots better will affect the games.
Showing no mercy
The Cavs showing no mercy the entire game they always went on long and small runs during the game. A turning point of the game was when the Raptors went cold, going 3-of-12 to end the half. The Cavs capitalized and they went an insane run to go into halftime with a 21-9 run to take a 62-48 lead.
The loss continues the Raptors playoff woes to 1-12 in series openers. Their only victory came in the second round against the Philadelphia Sixers in 2001. Dwane Casey announced that Jonas Valanciunas was back in the starting lineup I knew the Raptors would be in trouble. Moving forward if the Raptors, want to make this series competitive or win game 2 they need to go back to a smaller lineup.
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Photos courtesy of Bleacher Report, The Undefeated, The Toronto Star, USA Today