Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry gametime decision for Game 3 against Cavaliers

When the Cleveland Cavaliers are playing in the East playoffs, they go for sweeps.

Lowry was a game-time decision before Game 3 on Friday, and he was officially ruled active prior to tipoff.

Cleveland regained the lead on a basket by Love with 1:12 left in the third and Korver added a pair of 3-pointers in the final 47 seconds to give the Cavs the lead going to the fourth.

But the Cavs rallied from a 52-49 halftime deficit to take a 79-77 lead after three quarters as Korver got hot from 3-point range. That streak ended when Toronto beat the Cavs in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, but the Raptors couldn't duplicate the feat this time around.

"We were not giving up but they were better than us", Valanciunas said.

"We know DeMar is a great player and our strategy in the last three years since I've been here is just take away what a team does best", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "We tried to mix it up and in the fourth quarter, he got out of rhythm".

He did not practice Thursday as he had his ankle evaluated further and was listed by coach Dwane Casey as questionable.

"It was close [Friday], but I think I made it worse by trying to work out a few times", Lowry said.

With Kyle Lowry sitting out with an ankle injury, DeMar DeRozan had his best game of the series with 37 points to lead all scorers. San Antonio goes to Houston for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series that's knotted 1-1, while Toronto is in desperate need of a win against Cleveland in Game 3 of their East semi matchup. Making a Game 3 prediction that includes a Raptors' victory wouldn't be based on much logic, and Toronto will be lucky to steal a win before they are eliminated from contention.

If Lowry can't play, Cory Joseph?likely would start in his place. "At the end of the day, we're all human, everybody see things and may get text messages, whatever comes with it, it's part of the game".

The Raptors managed to score only three points in the first six and a half minutes of the final period, allowing the Cavaliers to pull away.

Rockets guard James Harden scored a game-high 43 points but had just five assists. Suddenly, the Cavs were up 19 with James, Tristan Thompson, Deron Williams and Iman Shumpert assembling tight defense. Meanwhile, the Raptors missed their first 12 three-point attempts until Norman Powell hit one with 3:10 left in the third quarter.

The Raptors started the fourth 1-of-12 from the field.

It would be hard for Toronto not to be more competitive at home Friday night, but the Cavs are just playing on a different level at the moment.

The Toronto Raptors, down 3-0 and on the brink of extinction, may not have their point guard yet again when they play Game 4 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"Production from our bench, (it) has to come in and give us a boost, and for whatever reason they couldn't get started", Casey said.

"It's tough to win a game when you only make two 3-pointers", DeRozan said. And it showed. He moved up and down the court well, he was able to push off on the block, he felt good shooting the ball. Perhaps most impressive, James was a relentless 15-of-16 at the foul line, the only recent hole in his game. "Just can't wait to get out there to redeem yourself". However, the Raptors didn't get much help from their bench who combined for only 9 points.

  • Rosalie Stanley