Monday, 29 May, 2017

Raptors' season ends with 109-102 loss to LeBron James, Cavaliers

Toronto Raptors guard De Mar DeRozan right hugs Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James after the Cavaliers won Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Toronto Sunday Raptors' season ends with 109-102 loss to LeBron James, Cavaliers
Rita Gibson | 20 May, 2017, 01:45

LeBron James scored 35 points, Kyrie Irving added 27 and the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a four-game sweep of Toronto, beating the Raptors 109-102 on Sunday to give James his seventh consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.

"In that fourth quarter, I just went to (isolations) for Kyrie", Lue said. But the Cavaliers simply had too many weapons and did just enough down the stretch to hang on for the win and to move on to their third straight Eastern Conference Finals. The president was prepared to go that route after he arrived in Toronto four years ago, but a late surge in 2014 squelched that idea. They took their shot and, like a number of others before them, they missed.

Thompson's indication that the National Basketball Association is "a man's league" did not sit well with James and, during that same press availability, Thompson said that "his feeling just got hurt" with regard to the soon-to-be Finals MVP.

With James better than ever and the Cavaliers firing 3-pointers from all over, Toronto lost to Cleveland for the second straight postseason.

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. But they're very hard to beat when he's shooting the ball like that because the ball is so spread.

Lowry led the Raptors past Milwaukee in the opening round of the playoffs and was Toronto's best player in Games 1 and 2 against Cleveland. Toronto was one of only three teams - and the only one in the Eastern Conference - in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. From the Gilbert Arenas-led Wizards to the Celtics big three.

Ibaka, 27, said he enjoyed his time in Toronto after coming over in a February 14 trade with Orlando. "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.

The Cavs controlled most of the game but Toronto came back from a 16-point deficit and took the lead, 93-92 on a jumper and a foul shot by Serge Ibaka with 6:38 left in the game.

Moon warns 'high possibility' of conflict with North
In March, South Korean officials voiced concerns that Beijing was limiting tourism to their country as an unofficial sanction. The Thaad deployment has already had an impact, after its TPY-2 radar component detected Sunday's missile launch.

Tucker opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to two points.

Lowry's status is just one of numerous questions the team faces in an off-season of uncertainty. "And we got a couple nicks and bruises from the first two rounds", James told ABC's Lisa Salters afterward.

The Raptors were playing without point guard Kyle Lowry, who suffered a sprained left ankle in Game Two on Wednesday.

Kyrie Irving played the closer role with a huge fourth quarter on his way to 27 points and nine assists.

"We needed that spark", James said.

"Get our rotations set. and do some things defensively we know we're capable of doing".

Cleveland will ultimately end up in the Finals which means it will be round 3 against the Golden State Warriors, but this year's match-up will be different as the Warriors added superstar Kevin Durant last off-season.

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