CLEVELAND -- On a night when small forward LeBron James continued to make history, the Cleveland Cavaliers made a statement with a dominant 125-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday.
Behind a 39-point effort from James, the Cavaliers took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and have a chance to further seize control of the second-round matchup when the semifinals shift to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for Game 3 Friday night.
James led the way with 39 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including a four-for-six effort from three-point range and 15-of-21 showing from the free-throw line. Additionally, James pulled down six rebounds, handed out four assists, stole three passes and blocked two shots in 37 minutes.
Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of Eastern Conference Semifinals
Along with James, who moved into second place on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list with his Game 2 performance, the Cavaliers got double-figure scoring production from point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Iman Shumpert and power forward Channing Frye.
Despite making just six of his 19 attempts from the field, Irving buried three three-pointers and all seven of his free throws for 22 points. Two days after setting a personal best for the most assists in a playoff game, Irving reset the mark with 11 assists in 30 minutes.
Frye came off the bench to hit five three-pointers and score 18 points, while Shumpert scored 14 and added six rebounds.
Twelve straight points and hustle plays on both ends of the floor helped the Cavaliers overcome six turnovers on the way to a 34-22 lead over the Raptors after the first quarter of Game 2.
The Raptors and Cavaliers matched each other, basket for basket, over the first three minutes of play, but a 15-3 run staked Cleveland out to a 10-point advantage, 19-9, and forced a Toronto timeout with 5:54 to play in the quarter.
Smith and Love ignited the run when they buried back-to-back three-pointers. Then, after a pair of free throws from Irving and an 18-foot jumper from Love, the Cavaliers went back to the three-point ball for their points.
Smith forced the Raptors to call a timeout when he buried his second triple of the quarter, this one from the left wing, after pump-faking his way free from a Raptors defender.
When the Cavaliers made a change in the lineup following the timeout, Frye stepped up and buried both of his looks from three-point range on the way to seven first-quarter points.
Love and Frye led the way for the Cavaliers with seven points each in the first quarter. James and Irving had four each and Smith added six by knocking down both of his attempts from three-point range.
As a team, the Cavaliers went 12 of 17 from the field (70.6 percent) and five of five from three-point range in the first quarter.
James took over the pace of play in the second quarter, and his aggressiveness on both ends of the floor helped the Cleveland Cavaliers take a 62-48 lead over the Toronto Raptors into halftime of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Quicken Loans Arena.
During the first quarter of Game 2, James was patient on the offensive end, letting his teammates get involved in the act, but after scoring just four points in the opening period, he found his shooting rhythm midway through the second quarter.
Out of a timeout, James hustled toward the hoop and got a layup attempt to fall. Then, after splitting four free throws, James buried a pull-up three-pointer from the right wing. On the next trip down the floor, James took advantage of the space given up by Raptors center Serge Ibaka and knocked down his second straight triple, which put the Cavaliers up by 14, 49-35, with 7:28 to play in the half.
As a team the Cavaliers buried five of their 10 looks from three-point range in the second quarter and 10 of 15 in the first half.
The Cavaliers came out of the halftime break ready for bear, and they never relented on either side of the floor on the way to a 99-73 lead over the Raptors after the third quarter.
The Cavaliers posted 27 points in the third quarter on 10-of-19 shooting, including a four-of-eight showing from three-point range. Over the first three quarters, the Cavaliers were 14 of 23 (60.9 percent) from three-point range.
On his way to taking sole possession of second place on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list, James had 15 points in the third quarter. James knocked down four of his five looks at the basket in the third quarter, including two of his three attempts from long distance.
Additionally, Irving scored 15 points in the third quarter.