James' running one-hander lifts Cavs at buzzer
- Author: Terrell Bush May 06, 2018,
May 06, 2018, 18:40
The three-time victor has successfully completed the Raptors' beyond 2 seasons, and despite playing with a different supporting cast, James is one win against a Toronto trifecta.
LeBron James ripped the Raptors' heart out in Saturday's Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena.
In Cleveland, the Raptors overcame a 17-point deficit to level things with eight seconds remaining, locking the scores at 103.
James has turned this series against the Raptors into a shot-making exhibition. He paused and recited the Pledge of Allegiance - well, he could have - and dunked just before the buzzer sounded.
"Tie game. Down one, or whatever the case may be".
But to disprove that, James scored Cleveland's last two baskets on a drive and a jumper for the 105 -all tie leading to overtime.
The Cavaliers caught fire from there, however, going on a dominant 16-2 run over the first half's final five minutes to take a 15-point edge at intermission. One of the great mysteries of these playoffs has been their disappearing defence. Casey was a defensive assistant before he came to Toronto as head coach, although he has bristled in recent seasons when it has been suggested that his specialty is on that side of the ball.
It was the fifth buzzer-beater of James' post-season career. The series is now 2-1 in favour of Golden State, but the Pelicans have another home game and anything can happen in New Orleans where they are undefeated (3-0) in the postseason.
The three-time National Basketball Association champion nailed a buzzer-beater against the Indiana Pacers in the first round and he was at it again to put the Cavaliers on the cusp of the conference finals.
Kyle Lowry scored 27 for Toronto, which clawed back in the fourth quarter with All-Star DeMar DeRozan on the bench. They have been 13th out of 16 playoff teams in defensive rating.
The ending to regulation in the Celtics-76ers game was about as wild as it gets for both teams. He said of sitting out down the stretch, "It was extremely hard". The coach said the lack of focus after halftime of Game 2 was particularly troubling. It wound up with Brad Stevens drawing up a phenomenal play to get Al Horford open under the basket. But just when Raptors' fans thought LeBron couldn't do any more damage to their team in the playoffs, the King served them another crushing blow.
"It's been a while since we've felt good (defensively) for a full 48 minutes", DeRozan said on Saturday morning. They have a 9-0 series record when up 3-0.
Casey said his team played with "our trousers on fire defensively", but struggled to take care of the ball on offence. "We will not put our guards down".
He wasn't wrong about it having been a while since they were close to their defensive peak.
If Lowry and the Raptors have been doing the rope-a-dope for the past nine playoff games, now would be the time to strike back.
"We got two game-winning, game-tying buckets - layups".