Behind a brilliant performance from LeBron James, the Cavs took a commanding 2-0 series lead with a 128-110 win over the Raptors on Thursday night.
James was in complete control in Game 2, scoring 43 points, dishing out 14 assists and grabbing eight rebounds. Not to be forgotten, Kevin Love stole the show in the first half, finishing with 31 points and 11 rebounds after a sluggish start to the playoffs.
As the Raptors now head to Cleveland down two games, here are three takeaways from Game 2...
Oh, hey Kevin Love!
James has been carrying much of the offensive load this postseason, but Love reminded everyone just how dangerous the Cavs can look when both of Cleveland's All-Stars are firing on all cylinders.
Love shot 11-of-21 from the field, plus a perfect 7-of-7 on free throws, but it was his willingness to get physical in the paint that really set the tone.
FEED KEVIN. pic.twitter.com/HDWBqVLM8y- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 3, 2018
It was just Love's night. If he's going to produce at this level, the Cavs will still be a tough out in the East.
Oh my, Kevin! 😱- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 3, 2018
Taking #WhateverItTakes to the next level. pic.twitter.com/3rpbbXqvbo
Cavs flip third-quarter script
The Cavs have consistently struggled in third quarters (remember that first-round series?), but Thursday night, they did a complete 180.
After trailing 63-61 at halftime, they came out of the locker room on a tear, opening the period with an 8-0 run. Kyle Lowry, who had been fantastic in the first half (18 points), picked up his fourth foul in that span.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey needed a timeout just two minutes into the quarter, but the Raptors never got back on track.
LBJ ➡️JR Smith ➡️ and-1!- NBA (@NBA) May 3, 2018
8-0 @cavs run to start the 2nd half.
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/ljJFlmZ9CP
The Cavs shot a scorching 16-of-22 from the field and piled on 37 points in the period.
Every possession counts
The Cavs turned the ball over three times.
Not three times in a quarter. Not three times in a half. Three times total.
They refused to give up any easy buckets in Game 2 and took advantage of the Raptors' mistakes. They scored 13 points off 11 Raptors turnovers.
The Raptors have to do a better job with their on-ball defense. Cleveland felt no pressure with the ball, and James routinely found cutters streaking down the lane for layups and dunks.