James, Cavs complete sweep of Raptors

Posted May 19, 2017

He missed Games 3 and 4 against the Cavaliers with a sprained ankle and now must decide whether he wants to continue to fall short against Cleveland in the National Basketball Association playoffs or take his chances with another team.

"It's never easy especially in a close-out game", said Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 11 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and added nine assists. "There's desperation at their end and desperation at our end". Does he make a coaching change when the coach he's got (Dwane Casey) is one of only four to have his team in the top 10 on both ends of the floor twice in the last four seasons?

Patrick Patterson, who like Tucker is approaching free agency, said the Raptors "weren't able to put games together like we wanted to".

The two teams meet on Wednesday night in Boston, before a potentially decisive Game 6 in Washington on Friday.

"I think we picked a team to go against that was a buzzsaw", Casey said. "Honestly, what I've thought about is, yes, I'll opt out, and how I need to get better as a basketball player".

A three by James gave the Cavs a 16-point lead at 10:05 of the third, but threes by Joseph, Ibaka, and Powell sparked a Raptors rally that saw them twice pull within five points late in the third.

He singled out his players' confidence in three-point shooting, plus defensive areas such as shot challenges and rotations. "When you have a veteran team like this and you go in with the mindset of we're going to go out and compete for a full 48 minutes no matter what's happening, no matter what run they throw at us, no matter what physical game it turns into or whatever, we're ready for it", Irving said. "I want to make sure my family is happy", Lowry said. "I tried my best. but he made some tough shots".

ROCKETS 125, SPURS 104: James Harden scored 28 points, Eric Gordon added 22 and the Rockets rebounded from consecutive losses to beat San Antonio Spurs at Houston and tie the Western Conference semifinal at 2-2.

Serge Ibaka scored 23 points for the Raptors.

"You're going to have to have very flexible defenders", Casey said, "and you're going to have score 117, 118 points a night". They're the defending champs for a reason. "It's going to be a long summer". DeRozan left the game briefly with 8:07 to play in the second quarter after he was inadvertently kicked in the midsection while guarding Iman Shumpert.

The second, though, belonged to Kyle Korver, who had 16 of the Cavs points in the frame, hitting 4-of-6 from distance as the Cavs once again owned the three-point line.

"We have another level", James said after scoring 35 points in Sunday's Game 4 win that clinched Cleveland's second straight series sweep.

The Cavaliers had a 12-point lead after the first half and entered the fourth quarter ahead by five. If they do in fact complete their march through the East, waiting for them will in all likelihood be a fire breathing octopus of a team that equals Cleveland's prowess on offense and completely shuts down opponents on defense.

The Raptors, though, found another gear in the third, and when Tucker launched a three with 0.8 seconds left in the quarter, it cut Cleveland's lead to 85-80 with one quarter left.