This is the Toronto Raptors’ All-Star backcourt we’ve grow used to these past few years. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan came through in a big way for the Raptors, combining for 52 points as the Raptors won their first home Eastern Conference Finals game in franchise history, 99-84, and cut the Cleveland Cavaliers’ series lead to 2-1.
The Raptors jumped out to an early lead behind strong play from their guards, and led by 13 points at halftime. A third-quarter Cavs run cut the deficit to five, mostly behind J.R. Smith‘s hot shooting (he hit six three-pointers on the night), but they couldn’t sustain as the Raptors continued to make shots.
Bismack Biyombo, who has been thrust into a starting role since the injury of Jonas Valanciunas in the second round, was arguably even more impactful for the Raptors than Lowry and DeRozan. He was a force on the defensive end and dominated the glass (26 rebounds), despite not making much of an impact on offense.
Outside of Smith and LeBron James, the Cavs couldn’t get much offense going. Kyrie Irving shot 3-for-19 from the field and Kevin Love shot 1-for-9 as Ty Lue benched him for the entire fourth quarter in favor of Channing Frye. The Raptors were able to successfully beat the Cavs at their own game, making it an offensive contest and outshooting the Cavs.
After Kyle Lowry’s controversial “decompressing” incident from Game 2, this game from the Raptors’ backcourt is encouraging and, for the first time, makes this series interesting.