How the Cavaliers Dominated the Raptors in Game 1
The basketball world was wondering how the Cleveland Cavaliers would come out after an eight day lay-off.
The Cavaliers beat the Toronto Raptors in convincing fashion 116-105 as they take a 1-0 lead. The Raptors worst nightmare came to fruition, as the Cavs looked the best they have in a long time. LeBron James and co. came out of the gates with tremendous energy and put up 30 points in the first quarter. The offense had great synergy, as the Cavs clearly showed they were not only the better team, but they never gave the Raptors a chance to even take a swing.
King James was again a box office attraction, firing up Quicken Loans Arena with a vicious left-handed lob dunk from Kyrie in the opening minutes. That play set the tone. In fact, that play might have set the tone for the series, as the Cavaliers may have sensed fear from the Raptors. Difference between the two teams is that the Cavaliers know they can beat the Raptors. The Raptors don’t believe they can beat the Cavaliers in a seven-game series.
The Cleveland Big 3 had their way against the Raptors. James had a game-high 35 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists while Kyrie had 24 points and 10 assists. Kevin Love had a quiet and easy 18 and 9. When Cleveland’s Big 3 combine for 77 points, the Cavs are likely to win. Cleveland pushed the tempo early and held the Raptors in check defensively from the opening tip. The Cavs swung the ball around with ease, who had 26 assists on the night and headed into the fourth quarter with just four turnovers.
The Raptors came close within as close as 2 points in the 2nd quarter, but went cold again to end the half. Cavaliers stepped on the gas to regain momentum, ending the half with a 21-9 run to take a 62-48 lead. Kyle Lowry played a respectable game and had a good line, with 20 points and 11 assists. DeRozan had an empty 19 points and 4 turnovers. The Raptors have no chance if their backcourt is going to be this average. This game never seemed like it was there for the taking, as the Cavs toyed with the Raptors with LeBron getting lob dunks off the backboard and playfully grabbing a beer from the sideline attendant.
The Cavaliers, who were the league's No. 2 three-point shooting team in the regular-season, went 14 of 34 from long range, good for 41.2%. I highlighted in my preview that the Cavs are almost unbeatable when they hit this magic number. Ironically, they shot exactly 41.2% tonight. The Cavs are now 22-1.
There was little doubt the Cavs would take care of business, especially at home.
Even though the Raptors will come out with a better effort in Game 2, they just don’t look a team that can take Cleveland’s title hopes away. They have no answer for the best player in the league and they lack offensive schemes to keep up with the defending champs. This will likely be a short series.
Quote of the Night: LeBron James, on staying focused through the postseason..
”I don’t think about the past or the future. I’m all about the present. That’s my whole mindset, ‘How we can get this win? Today is Game 1. How can we get this win? How can we play? What can I do to help our team be successful?’ So that’s how I’m able to stay fresh, because I don’t think about past and the future is a mystery. So I’ve got to live in the present.”
LeBron “Zero-Dark Thirty-23” activated, ladies and gentlemen.
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