Toronto Raptors Even Series Against Cleveland Cavaliers

Toronto Raptors Even Series Against Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were unstoppable in leading the Toronto Raptors to a second straight win over Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Toronto Raptors have now tied their Western Conference Finals series with the Cavs after narrowly escaping a highly competitive Game 4 with the win. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan both scored 30+ points in the win including some key baskets down the stretch. Lowry completed his resurgence with 35 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals while playing close to 45 minutes. On the other hand, DeRozan finished the game with 32 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal in nearly 40 minutes.

Strong Start for the Toronto Raptors

Toronto started off strong in the first quarter with a Lowry jump shot off of an assist from DeRozan. Offseason acquisition DeMarre Carroll also contributed early with a quick putback and a three to give the Raptors an early 7-2 lead. Cleveland then answered with their own run with JR Smith, Lebron James, and Kyrie Irving scoring to keep the lead to within 5. And like what I discussed in my previous article regarding this Eastern Conference Finals series, the Cavaliers did try to get Kevin Love involved in the offense early. Love obliged by scoring the Cavs first two points as well as a three-pointer in the middle of the quarter. For all their efforts though, the Cavs were unable to put a stop to the Raptors offense. The visitors ended the quarter trailing by 3, 27-24.

By the time the second quarter came around, the Toronto Raptors were seemingly unstoppable on offense. Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross, and Amir Johnson lead the Raptors second unit that started the quarter with another 7-2 run. And when their other starters did get back on the floor, it was Kyle Lowry who then came up with his own personal scoring run. The stocky point guard converted three 3-point field goals and scored a total of 15 points in the quarter. Cleveland had no answer for Lowry and only managed to score a paltry 17 points. By halftime, the Raptors were sitting on a comfortable 57-41 lead.

Cleveland Fights Back

The third quarter was a different ballgame though as Cleveland tried to fight its way back with threes. Kevin Love made up for a lackluster second quarter by scoring another 5 points in the third including a three pointer. Kyrie Irving, JR Smith, and Lebron James also joined the three-point party by converting their attempts. In total, the Cavaliers were able to 6 3-pointers to cut down the Raptors lead to 11 at the end of the quarter.

Cleveland again started the fourth strong, this time with their five out line up. Channing Frye led the charge by converting three straight 3-pointers to cut Toronto’s lead to just 1 with 9:42 left. A couple of plays later, Lebron James scored on a driving layup to make the score 84-83 and giving the Cavs’ their first lead of the game. From this point on, the game became a battle of wills and execution. Unfortunately for the Cavs, the Toronto Raptors were able to out-execute them down the stretch. Missed attempts by Frye and a blocked shot attempt by Smith resulted in the Raptors lead ballooning to 4, 103-99. A driving layup by Kyle Lowry with 22.5 seconds left finally sealed the win for the Raptors.

Cleveland Needs to Regroup

The Cavaliers were supposed to be the team to beat in the East but now they’re not looking like a championship contender. They have issues not only on defense but also with their offensive execution. The fact that they were able to let Bismack Biyombo have another big night (14 total rebounds, 3 offensive) on the boards is proof of these issues. Kevin Love and JR Smith’s limited production in the last two games are also causes for concern. If the Cavs can’t stop their skid, it’s entirely possible that we’ll be seeing the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals for the first time.

Do you think the Toronto Raptors can sustain their momentum in Game 5? What about the Cavs? Can they protect their homecourt advantage or will they continue their losing ways? Be sure to share your thoughts down on the comments section below!

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