CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers fought their way to a 108-89 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference at Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night and took a 2-0 series lead by protecting home court advantage.
The Cavaliers will look to take a commanding lead in the series with Saturday night’s Game 3 matchup at Air Canada Centre.
Small forward LeBron James led the way for the Cavaliers with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to go along with three steals in 34 minutes of play. Point guard Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 26 points, and power forward Kevin Love added 19 markers and five rebounds.
Center Tristan Thompson narrowly missed a double-double of his own, as he scored nine points and pulled down a team-best 12 rebounds.
Thanks to a late pull-up jumper from Irving, the Cavaliers enjoyed 30-28 lead over the Raptors after the first quarter of play in Game 2.
With a second left on the clock, Irving pulled up inside the left wing and knocked down the 17-foot go-ahead jumper for his fourth basket of the quarter.
The Cavaliers built a 22-14 lead over the Raptors because of the interior play of the guards and Thompson. After Smith buried a three-pointer with 7:50 to play in the quarter, Cleveland got mid-range jumpers from Irving and Love, plus a driving layup from Irving and dunk from Thompson, all of which gave the Cavaliers their eight-point advantage.
Although the Raptors stormed back to take a 23-22 lead, the Cavaliers ended the first quarter on an 8-5 run and had the advantage heading into the second quarter.
Love led the Cavaliers with nine first-quarter points, while James handed out six assists to go with his six markers and two rebounds in eight minutes of action.
Because of a 20-5 run over the final 5:49 of play in the second quarter, the Cavaliers held a 62-48 lead over the Raptors at halftime of Game 2.
Irving and James keyed the scoring run, as they combined for 15 points in the second quarter. James led the way with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. He went three for six from the field and five for nine at the free-throw line.
As a team, the Cavaliers knocked down 10 of their 22 looks at the basket in the second quarter, which were two more than the Raptors sunk. The big different for the Cavaliers came in the fact that they shot 13 more free throws and made eight more attempts from the charity stripe than the Raptors in the second period.
The Cavaliers enjoyed an 86-69 lead over the Raptors after the third quarter of play.
Led by 10 points from Irving, the Cavaliers outscored the Raptors by three points, 24-21, in the third quarter of play. During the third quarter, James moved past Shaquille O’Neal into fourth place on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list.
The Cavaliers made seven of their 17 looks at the basket in the third quarter, including one of their three three-point shots. The Cavaliers maintained their double-digit lead by making nine of their 14 free-throw attempts.