The Cavs are not going to win a lot of games with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving combining to shoot 4 of 28 for 16 points, but you gotta tip your cap to Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, who scored 32 points, and to Bismack Biyombo, who pulled down a franchise record 26 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots, as the Raptors took Game 3 by a score of 99-84.
DeRozan came screaming out of the gate, scoring 12 points, while Biyombo grabbed 10 boards, as Toronto took a 27-24 lead in the first quarter. The Raptors then rode a flurry of 3’s to a 7-point lead, before going on a 10-point run late in the second quarter that brought the score to 54-37, and at the half, it would be 60-47. As the half wound down, Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson, apparently fed up with Biyombo’s dominance on the boards, started getting up in the big man’s face and started barking at him. As he tried to walk away, Thompson blindly threw an elbow that caught LeBron right in the kisser and sent him reeling to the floor. James was not happy.
Up 85-70 early in the fourth, the Raptors left the door wide open for the Cavs, going scoreless and missing 9 straight shots in a span of about 5 and half minutes, but Cleveland couldn’t capitalize, managing just 7 points, and cutting the lead to 85-77 with 5:43 to play. And that’s when Biyombo took control, scoring 6 straight points down low and grabbing 3 rebounds to help secure a desperately needed win.
As huge as DeRozan and Biyombo were, maybe the best news of the night for Toronto was that at least for one game, Kyle Lowry got some of his mojo back, scoring 20 on 7-of-13 shooting, with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Lowry this postseason has been like jazz or poetry – when he’s bad, he’s awful, and the Raptors can’t afford for him to be bad against Cleveland.
For Cleveland, the good news is that both Love and Irving went ice-cold on the same night, mucking up one game instead of two, and with the Cavs’ win streak snapped, there’s no nagging sense that the other shoe could drop at the most inopportune time. Sure, it still could, but you know…