Cavaliers take 3-0 series lead over Raptors

Cavaliers take 3-0 series lead over Raptors

Cavaliers take 3-0 series lead over Raptors

Playing without its All-Star point guard, Toronto gave the Cavaliers all they could handle for the first three quarters.

Instead of keeping it close with the reigning champs to the final buzzer, the Raps let the game spiral out of control as Cleveland's Kyle Korver hit some daggers, and the Cavs buckled down defensively. He looked himself for the first time in the series - getting opportunities, drawing fouls and vaulting over his defenders to hit jumpers in a 13-point quarter.

Lowry sprained his left ankle in the third quarter of Game 2 and did not practice Thursday. He participated in the warmup and was listed as active for the game, but Cory Joseph started in his place.

Lowry missed Game 3 due to the injury.

Cavs forward Kevin Love, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and point guardKyrie Irving, who had 16 points but shot just 7-of-21, did not play in the fourth. He averages 32.7 points in games after sub-10 point performance, and was true to form, shooting 12 for 23 and making all 13 free throw attempts.

The Cavaliers led 28-24 after the first quarter and the Raptors led 52-49 at the intermission.

Before Game 3, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue dismissed the idea that his team's effort or focus would determine the outcome, going with the "make-or-miss league" stuff. They have no answer for James, and the Cavs keep finding different players to help their star glittering even brighter.

The Raptors led by as many as five points in the third quarter. Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) drives to the basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series in Toronto on Friday, May 5, 2017.

Cavaliers: Cleveland finished 13 for 23 from 3-point range.

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The Raptors went up by three again when DeRozan's free throw completed a three-point play. The Cavaliers went on a 20-3 run in the first six minutes of the fourth for a 99-80 lead.

Korver opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer. He contributed 14 points on 4 of 6 from behind the arc. "Whether they're haymakers, undercuts, whatever, maybe a couple below the belt, but you've got to box". No such shift occurred tonight, as the Cavs handled the Raptors 115-94 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

That won't be easy against the Cavaliers, the first team since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1949 and '50 to win their first seven playoff games in consecutive seasons. That streak ended when Toronto beat the Cavs in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, but the Raptors couldn't duplicate the feat this time around.

The Cavaliers didn't leave their game at the Canadian border this year.

The Spurs claimed a 103-92 win against the Houston Rockets to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semi-final series.

"We just want to try to get better every game", James said after scoring 35 points on just 16 shots in Game 3.

After a dunk by Rockets forward Trevor Ariza that cut the deficit to 76-72 with 7:50 left, Aldridge and Leonard combined to score the next 12 points for the Spurs.

Cavs superstar LeBron James saw Lowry go down, saying the injury "didn't look that great".

The Atlanta Hawks' next general manager will have total authority of personnel decisions following moves on Friday which dismantled the two-tier management team of Mike Budenholzer and Wes Wilcox. Houston shot just 36.4 percent from the field and failed to rattle San Antonio, which was playing without injured point guard Tony Parker.

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