May 23, 2016, 10:23 pm
Monday night brought us Game 4 from the Eastern Conference finals between the Raptors and the Cavs. A win for the Raptors would send this best of seven series tied at 2 back to Cleveland, a loss would all but write off the Raptors. With a recap of what transpired, here’s your Tuesday daily dish.
RAPTORS 105, CAVS 99
The old adage of the first team to 100 rang true once again. The Raptors withstood a strong Cavs run in the 4th quarter to even the best of seven series at 2-2.
The Raptors were once again led by their all-star backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry who accounted for 67 of their 105 points. Lowry scored a game-high 35 points on 14-of-20 shooting and four three pointers. He added five rebounds, five assists and three steals. DeRozan chipped in 32 points on 14-of-23 shooting with three rebounds and three assists. When the backcourt of Lowry and DeRozan score more than 35 points combined the Raptors are 9-1 in these playoffs.
Bismack Biyombo, once again was a pillar on the defensive end. Biyombo played 42 minutes and scored five points but more importantly registered 14 rebounds and three blocks. Biyombo has been an absolute stud on the defensive end and is a large reason why the Raptors have tied this series at 2-2.
For the Cavs, LeBron James carried the load with 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting. He added nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block in a game-high 46 minutes.
Kyrie Irving also rebounded from a poor Game 3 to score 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting. He added three rebounds, six assists and one steal.
Off the bench, Channing Frye added 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including four treys.
Kevin Love once again shot horribly connecting on only 4-of-14 from the field for 10 points. The matchup with Luis Scola would seem to favour Love, but Scola has done an admirable job on Love in games 3 and 4 of this series thus far.
Tristan Thompson only scored two points in 29 minutes of action. He added nine rebounds and one steal in an otherwise quiet line.
J.R. Smith shot 3-of-12 for nine points in 32 minutes of action. He added two rebounds and one assist and played some less than stellar defense tonight against the Raptors backcourt.
For the Raptors, Luis Scola started at the four spot once again but only played 14 minutes of action and contributed one steal as his only stat of the evening. While his defense on Kevin Love has been noteworthy, some added offensive punch would be welcomed.
With all do respect to Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, this has actually turned into a series. The Raptors seemed to have finally found a way to keep the Cavs under 100 points. This is now a best of three series and if the Raptors can find a way to handle the Cavs on Wednesday night, they might find themselves in a position to close out the series on Friday night on home turf. Imagine that?
The Raptors listed Jonas Valanciunas as active for Monday night, even though he did not see the court. If he is able to play on Wednesday night it may give the Raptors the added fuel that they need on the road to steal a game from the Cavs.
Draymond Green was not suspended for the kick to the jewels heard around the globe. Although Steven Adams may have something to say about this, Game 4 of the Western Conference finals will go ahead with the usual starting cast.
I’m @radiomunoz and that does it for another tasty dish. For the best in NBA playoff coverage follow @HoopBallTweets on twitter. Tuesday night brings us the Game 4 of the Warriors/Thunder matchup and we cannot wait to see what happens.