CLEVELAND — Cleveland Cavaliers will look to continue their dominating run against the Toronto Raptors when they meet in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-final at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.
Tip-off time for this one is set for 8:30 pm in Cleveland, with the Cavaliers leading the best-of-seven game series 2-0 and live on ABC and streaming on WatchESPN.
LeBron James and the Cavs stunned the Raptors 113-112 in overtime in Game 1 of the series on Tuesday night and then took the second game comfortably, 128-110 on Thursday night.
The Cleveland has previously taken a 2-0 lead in a series 21 times and has gone on to win all of them, while Toronto is still to win a series after going behind 0-2.
James, who has been dominating the playoffs so far, is averaging 34.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game so far this postseason, which also includes the seven-game thriller with the Indiana Pacers in the first round.
From two games thus far in this series, James is averaging 34.5 points, 13.5 assists and 9.5 rebounds against the Raptors.
Meanwhile, Toronto, which enters this playoff campaign as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and easily put away the Washington Wizards in round one, has been struggling to match the same level of intensity in this series.
The Raptors were swept away in the Eastern Conference semis by James and the Cavaliers last season and way things look at the moment, DeMar DeRozan and Co. are in danger of tumbling out at the same stage again.
Many have already written off the East top seed, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey is still confident his team can bounce back.
Meanwhile, despite leading his team to a dominating Game 2 win, James, who became the first player in NBA history to score at least 40 points with 14 assists in a playoff game, remains grounded.
Kevin Love added 31 points and 11 rebounds on Thursday night with J.R. Smith scoring 15 points, Jeff Green chipping in with 14 and George Hill finishing with 13 for the Cavaliers to post their eighth consecutive postseason victory over the Raptors.
“It’s one game at a time, and that’s the only way we should look at it,” said James. “We will not put our guards down.
“I won’t, so that’s going to trickle down to everybody else. Understanding that the series is never won until it’s over.
“You’ve got to win four games to get out of a series and it starts with the next game, so I will be as sharp as I was tonight.”
In the meantime, Raptors coach Casey identified at least one problem his team is struggling with this series.
“We have some matchup issues all over the court,” Casey admitted.
DeRozan is looking for a response from his team.
“Sometimes when you’re put in tough situations, that’s what brings the best out of you,” he said. “That’s what point we’re at now.”