LeBron James’ 15th career triple-double powered the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday to a 108-89 win over the Toronto Raptors, and staked them to a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Two days after getting torched by 31 points, the Raptors came out much stronger to open Game 2, and with 4 minutes to play in the first half, a Patrick Patterson 3-pointer tied the score at 46-46. But that was as close as they would get, as the Cavs closed out the half with a 16-2 run as James and Kevin Love each scored 6 points, and the Raptors shot 0-for-9 from the floor, scoring only on a pair of DeMar DeRozan free throws.
The Raptors would get back within 10 points midway through the 3rd on two more DeRozan freebies, but from there the Raptors got a little foul happy, sending the Cavs to the line 11 times, and they sank all of them to go up 86-69.
James finished the game with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and was a monster in the paint, driving the lane again and again, exploiting the absence of Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, and Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 26. The Cavs are now 10-0, and outscoring their opponents by 13.4 ppg.
For Toronto, Kyle Lowry continues to be the streakiest player still in the playoffs, and right now he’s got the cold hand, last night making just 4 of 14 for 10 points, a performance exacerbated by 5 turnovers. DeMar DeRozan gamely soldiered on, hitting 8 of 18 for 22 points. Toronto better hope some home cooking can turn this ship around.