Cavaliers' Lue had right idea and ideal player - LeBron - to make play

Joann Johnston
May 8, 2018

There was a little stunned silence, but they've seen this show before and know how it ends. They way he saved Cleveland from disaster against IN in the first round and has dominated three straight games against the Eastern Conference regular-season champions, the Toronto Raptors, has been astounding.

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The closet door is wide open again and LeBron James is rummaging around.

The top-seeded Raptors will be fighting for honor, most likely, given that no team has made it back from a 3-0 hole in National Basketball Association history - making it all the much tougher to rally for this upcoming road game at The Q. "But we have one more game, our pride is on the line, basically our season is on the line, but I think he'll bounce back". Eastern on May 7, 2018 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. In Game 3, Oh specifically predicted a one-score outcome and was proven correct when James hit a running bank shot at the buzzer for a 105-103 victory.

It's all on the table. He said VanVleet's presence mitigated Smith (who had scored 20 and 15 points in the first two games of this series), and Ibaka challenged Tristan Thompson (no points, three rebounds).

The four-time MVP put the Raptors on the brink of extinction, breaking their hearts with a jaw-dropping, buzzer-beating runner after they'd rallied to tie the game after trailing the entire way. DeRozan was just 3-for-12 for a postseason-low eight points as the Cavs made it a point to double-team him whenever possible and dare others to beat them.

Same goes for the series.

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Pushed to seven games in the opening round by the Indiana Pacers, the Cavs entered their series with Toronto as underdogs.

"I average zero points, zero assists and six personal fouls".

He could use the rest.

LeBron James' epic game-winning shot began with Cavaliers coach Ty Lue's decision to take the ball out of bounds under the basket after a timeout instead of at halfcourt with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter. This shot may be hard to remember as LeBron has stacked his resume mightly in the past nine years, but this moment is sure to make the cut when his tribute video is one day being played.

If the Toronto Raptors or Philadelphia 76ers are going to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, they'll have to make history. "We understand that, and we just have to come out with the right mindset and match their intensity early and try to close it out if we can".

Perhaps the critical dynamic in Game 4 is whether Toronto, on a quick turnaround, can overcome the disappointment of Game 3 and give a spirited performance in an elimination game. With home-court advantage after a 59-win regular season, Toronto was a 2/1 favorite to defeat Cleveland. Jonas Valanciunas is the third double-digit scorer and CJ Miles is grabbing 2.3 rebounds.

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