LeBron James Puts Toronto on the Brink of Another Playoff Meltdown

LeBron James Puts Toronto on the Brink of Another Playoff Meltdown

LeBron James was a one man show in game two, and when he is on his game this team is very hard to beat. Meanwhile, LeBron James now has 35 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds as the Cavaliers opened up a 18-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

If the Raptors want to come back in this series, they simply can not allow Love to score 31 points to support James. Four-for-five in the third, when he matched LeBron James with 11 minutes, 14 seconds. Lowry led Toronto with eight assists. They only scored 47 points in the second half in game two, and in game one they missed their last 11 shots in regulation. But it all takes a backseat to James' dominance, who is making 40-point games go out of style.

As for the Raptors, it doesn't need to be spelled out, but two losses in Toronto as the series swings down to Cleveland is about as unsettling as it gets. Already down 1-0 in the series after falling apart late in Game 1, Toronto simply can't afford to head to Cleveland for Game 3 Saturday trailing 2-0 in this best-of-seven affair. It never quite made sense - they were fifth in offensive rating in the regular season and they employ James - but it raised real concerns about whether or not they had the proper pieces to make a deep run in the postseason. And while he had six early rebounds, his inability to have anything resembling an impact on the game from that point forward hurt the Raptors. Which team will win this game? That combines for 45 points; 29 less than the Cavs big two.

"When Kevin's shooting the ball and playing fast, this is how we can play", Lue said of Love, who had not reached 20 points in a game this offseason until the Game 2 outburst. "I don't know what the history of down 0-2 is but one thing I do know is tonight wasn't us, how we normally play for longer periods of time".

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A key to the disparity in 3-point shooting can be seen in the quality of the shot attempts. Consecutive baskets by James followed by Love's inside hoop increased Cleveland's advantage to 89-75 with 4:17 remaining. However, it was the Celtics that did a better job of converting turnovers into points. Simmons finished with only one point, five turnovers and a bad minus-23 rating.

Ben Simmons: What happened? Then the Cavs started going at the Raptors' weakest links in pick-and-rolls and forcing Valancinuas to cover a lot more ground (the Love/LeBron pick-and-rolls were particularly effective).

Van Vleet scored his 14 points on 5 of 10 shots from the field including 4 of 7 from behind the arc. In 23 possessions against all other defenders, Rozier had 8 points on a flawless 3-3 shooting, including two more 3-pointers.

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