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Cavaliers take 3-0 series lead over Raptors


But it was not enough, and it didn't help that he scored one point in the fourth quarter. And on Friday night, he started dropping ridiculous left-handed shots on Toronto. Lowry is averaging 15.8 points and 5.9 assists in eight games so far this postseason.

Norman Powell scored 13 points and Serge Ibaka had 12 for the Raptors, who shot a dismal 2 for 18 from 3-point range. Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Cleveland 49 (Love 13), Toronto 25 (Valanciunas 8).

The Raptors were without starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who couldn't get past a sprained left ankle, and that surely cut into their offence.

Before Game 3, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue dismissed the idea that his team's effort or focus would determine the outcome, going with the "make-or-miss league" stuff. The Warriors now have a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference.

The Raptors led by as many as five points in the third quarter.

LeBron James, who extended his personal National Basketball Association record of winning a road game to 28 consecutive series, again was a force of nature for Cleveland.

DeMar DeRozan was back, again for three quarters. Cory Joseph made his first playoff start in Lowry's place, but finished with just four points. He was on the active list but only because it had to be submitted an hour before tipoff and the Raptors held out hope he would be able to play at that point.

Toronto led by three points at halftime but the Cavaliers kept pressing in the third and seized command in the fourth. "Coming into the fourth, we couldn't hit any threes". 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 Air Canada Centre crowd that included Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and rapper Drake. James hit 15-of-16 free throws. After going 9-16 (56.25 percent) from two point range in the first quarter, the Cavs only went 3-14 (21.4 percent) from that range in the second quarter. "We just tried to mix it up and keep him off balance, and in the fourth quarter he kind of got out of rhythm".

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The Cavs won 115-94 to go 3-0 up in the series, with just one more victory required to advance to the next stage.

The Cavaliers are the only team since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1949 and 1950 to win their first seven playoff games in consecutive seasons.

Cleveland won 10 straight to begin the playoffs a year ago, a streak that ended when Toronto beat the Cavs in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

DeRozan wound up playing 41 minutes and sat down with the game out of reach with three minutes to go.

Down 0-3 against a dominant LeBron James led Cavaliers team, will Lowry be back for Game 4 Sunday?

The game began with some bad news from a Raptors' perspective when Lowry, who looked to have made a stunningly quick recovery from a Game 2 ankle injury, had his night end in the pre-game warmups when he abruptly left the court and headed back to the locker room.

After a dunk by Rockets forward Trevor Ariza that cut the deficit to 76-72 with 7:50 left, Aldridge and Leonard combined to score the next 12 points for the Spurs. The Hawks' next general manager will have total authority of personnel decisions after moves that dismantled the two-tier management team of Mike Budenholzer and Wes Wilcox. Houston shot just 36.4 percent from the field and failed to rattle San Antonio, which was playing without injured point guard Tony Parker. While the Spurs weren't much better (34.6 percent), they did manage two transition baskets and 12 points in the paint.

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