9:39 p.m.- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS TORONTO RAPTORS GAME 3 OF EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
The Cleveland Cavaliers fought their way through 15 turnovers and stagnant second-quarter offense on the way to a 115-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Air Canada Centre Friday night.
With the win, the Cavaliers took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and will go for the closeout victory on Sunday afternoon.
Small forward LeBron James led the way with 35 points on nine-of-16 shooting and a 15-of-16 showing from the free-throw line. Despite committing five turnovers, James was impactful in all facets of play, as he handed out seven assists and pulled down eight rebounds.
James hit a pair of left-handed turnaround jumpers from the free-throw line in his 90th career 30-point postseason game.
In addition to James, the Cavaliers got double-digit scoring production from power forward Kevin Love, point guard Kyrie Irving and reserve shooting guard Kyle Korver. Love and Irving scored 16 points each, while Korver sunk four of his six looks from three-point range on the way to a 14-point effort.
Without starting point guard Kyle Lowry because of a leg injury suffered in Game 2, Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan overcame his early-series woes and scored 37 points.
8:58 p.m.-LATE SURGE GIVES CAVALIERS LEAD OVER RAPTORS
Cleveland Cavaliers reserve guard Kyle Korver sunk a pair of late three-pointers and that six-point spurt gave the team a 79-77 lead over the Toronto Raptors after the third quarter of play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Air Canada Centre.
The Cavaliers started the second half on a 5-2 run and drew even with the Raptors at 54 all when small forward LeBron James converted a pair of free throws, but Toronto responded with a quick 4-0 spurt to retake the lead.
Although the Cavaliers continued to struggled on the defensive end of the floor and with turnovers, shooting guard J.R. Smith and power forward Kevin Love evened the score at 60-60 when back-to-back three-pointers from the right wing. However, the Raptors utilized the emergence of shooting guard DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan continued his hot shooting in the third quarter, first converting a three-point play after sinking a shot just inside the three-point line while getting fouled by Smith right before pulling up. Then, DeRozan got another runner in the lane to go for a 65-62 lead with 6:28 to play in the period.
The Cavaliers ended the third quarter on a 17-12 run.
8:13 p.m.-TORONTO FIGHTS WAY TO HALFTIME LEAD
The Toronto Raptors closed the first half on a 17-8 scoring run over the final six minutes and took a 52-49 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers into the halftime break of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Air Canada Centre.
The Cavaliers started the second quarter on a 9-4 run, led by the play of small forward LeBron James.
Eight seconds into the quarter, James knocked down a two-point shot, and followed it up with a pair of free throws one minute later. Then, on the next trip down the floor, James buried an off-balance step-back three-pointer from the top of the key.
Shooting guard Iman Shumpert finished the run by getting an offensive rebound after having his initial shot blocked and converting an uncontested layup in the lane, but after taking a 37-28 lead, the Cavaliers went into a scoring drought over the next two-plus minutes and the Raptors went to work on the offensive end.
Toronto scored seven straight points, but the Cavaliers maintained their lead when James knocked down one of two free throws after a clear-path foul was whistled against Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan on a three-quarter court inbounds pass from power forward Kevin Love.
Then, after fast-paced play yielded no results, the Cavaliers settled into the half-court and shooting guard J.R. Smith buried a pull-up three-pointer from the left wing with 6:05 to play in the first half. The three-pointer gave the Cavaliers a 41-35 lead and forced Toronto to call a timeout.
The Raptors responded well out of the timeout, going on an 8-2 run before Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving broke the tie with a three-pointer from the top of the key, but Toronto closed out the first half on a scoring run.
7:36 p.m.-CAVALIERS LEAD RAPTORS, 28-24, AFTER FIRST QUARTER
As expected after two blowout losses at Quicken Loans Arena, the Toronto Raptors came out strong in front of the home fans at Air Canada Centre, but the Cleveland Cavaliers knocked down 10 of their 19 shots on the way to a 28-24 lead after the first quarter of play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Fresh off of making 18 three-pointers in Game 2, the Cavaliers hit just one of their three looks from long distance over the first 12 minutes of play, but went nine of 14 from the field and buried all seven of their free throws on the way to the first-quarter advantage.
The Cavaliers established power forward Kevin Love early, and he responded by making four of his six looks from the field and both of his free throws on the way to a 10-point first quarter performance. Additionally, Love pulled down four rebounds.
Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving scored seven points and small forward LeBron James added six of his own, with one rebound and one assist.
6:45 p.m.-GAME INFORMATION
The Cleveland Cavaliers look to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a win in Game 3 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto tonight.
Thanks to LeBron James' continued record-setting play, the Cavaliers made a statement with a dominant 125-103 victory over the Raptors in Game 2 at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday.
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.
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.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Be a part of the conversation during Game 3 by using the hashtag: #3Cavs