Kyle Lowry doubtful for Game 4 against Cavaliers

  • Kyle Lowry doubtful for Game 4 against Cavaliers

Kyle Lowry doubtful for Game 4 against Cavaliers

Toronto scratched and clawed to a halftime lead, only to see it erased when Cleveland cranked up their three-point shooting and the Raptors could only clank theirs.

Rockets star James Harden had 43 points but his overall influence was affected by his team's poor shooting.

Had they got even an average night from behind the three-point line, the Raptors might now be a game away from tying this series up.

"Those were huge", Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said of Korver's timely three-pointers. "We need to be thinking about doing what we need to do to execute defensively and offensively on Sunday".

DeRozan had one point in the fourth quarter. Just a great effort from him in this one. "That stretch, right at the beginning of the fourth quarter, is what got us".

With nary a semblance of any offensive output without him on the floor, Dwane Casey put up the bat signal for DeRozan after just a two-minute rest. "There was no back down".

Lowry warmed up before Friday's game, but was limping badly and spent the night on the bench.

"Sunday's game is about pride", Casey said.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love scored 16 points apiece. And when Brampton, Ont., native Tristan Thompson scored with 5:47 to play, it gave the Cavs a 99-80 lead, much to the dismay of the noisy, white-clad crowd that included Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and rapper Drake.

"It's not about the sweep", James said. It's tough. We competed for, you know, 36 minutes tonight. We knew were coming into a hostile environment. After connecting on 53 percent from the field in the opening 12 minutes, Cleveland's touch went ice-cold as they hit on just 32 percent of their field goals in the second period.

"He had a minute and a half and he needed that", Casey said of the DeRozan absence before he returned to play.

As a team, the Cavaliers dominated on the rebounding front, holding a 49-25 advantage. Games 1 and 2 weren't competitive games for the Raps. No NBA team has ever come back after losing the first three games. LeBron has now passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time Playoff scoring list with 5,777 points and sits in second place with only Michael Jordan ahead of him on 5,987. So far this series the Cavs have attempted 63 free throws, while the Raptors have attempted 39. He hit another three in the first minutes of the one-sided fourth quarter - and really in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, with Demar DeRozan on the bench, the Cavaliers took over the game. The Raps were reluctant to switch pindown actions for Korver when it was Thompson setting the screens and that left Korver open for shots. Totals 38-87 16-17 94. DeRozan scored 15 points in the third quarter, but when the period ended, the Cavs were back on top, 79-77, behind a spurt of 3-point shots by Korver.

"Our second unit guys came in and gave us a big push", James said. "And, for whatever reason, couldn't get started".

"We kind of lost our focus there a little bit", forward Draymond Green said. The all-star point guard said it's "doubtful" he'll play Sunday. The modern National Basketball Association is merciless on poor 3-point shooting squads, a statement which can be written in CAPS in the playoffs, where every team is strong. Oh, and by the way the Cavs are 7-0 and could legitimately sweep the east the way things are going right now. They opened the playoffs with a 7-0 record in 1949 and did it again in 1950.

Lebron James No.23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots the ball as DeMarre Carroll No.5 of the Toronto Raptors defends in the first half of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday in Toronto, Canada.