2017 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Semifinals Game #4
#2 Cleveland Cavaliers at #3 Toronto Raptors
Cavaliers Lead Series 3-0
Sunday, May 7, 2017, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Opening Line: Cleveland -5 1/2
Current Line: Cleveland -6 1/2
Opening Total: 214 1/2
Current Total: 213
Opening Money Line: Cavaliers -240 / Raptors +214
Current Money Line: Cavaliers -265 / Pacers +235
The Cleveland Cavaliers look for their 11th straight playoff win as they try to sweep the Toronto Raptors in game four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals Sunday in Toronto. The Cavaliers have dominated every aspect of the series and won each game by at least eleven points.
The Cavaliers and Raptors finished with identical 51-31 records in the regular season. The Cavaliers are the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs by the tie breaker. Cleveland won the Central Division and Toronto was second in the Atlantic Division. Both teams were two games behind the Boston Celtics for the best record in the East. Cleveland swept the Pacers and Toronto beat the Milwaukee Bucks in six games in the first round.
Cleveland is coached by Tyronn Lue. The Cavaliers are 41-45-3 ATS and the total is 52-36-1 this season. Toronto is coached by Dwane Casey. Toronto is 48-42-1 ATS and the total is 48-43 this season.
The Cavaliers won game one 116-105 and game two 125-103, both in Cleveland. In game three, Friday night in Toronto, the Raptors were without star guard Kyle Lowry who was out with an ankle injury. He is doubtful for game four. The Cavaliers were 2.5 point favorites and the total was 215. Cleveland took a 28-24 lead after the first, but Toronto would lead 52-49 at halftime. Cleveland regained the lead 79-77 after the third quarter. The Cavaliers were dominant in the fourth outscoring the Raptors 36-17. The Cavaliers would go on to win 115-94 to put the Raptors on the verge of elimination.
Cleveland shot 39/76 from the field including 13/23 from three point range. The Cavaliers made 24/28 free throws. Cleveland had 58 rebounds, 15 assists, 16 turnovers, 2 steals and 6 blocks. The Cavaliers had 5 fast break points and 38 points in the paint. Toronto shot 38/87 from the field including 2/18 from three point range. The Raptors made 16/17 free throws. Toronto had 33 rebounds, 17 assists, 6 turnovers, 9 steals and 4 blocks. The Raptors had 6 fast break points and 50 points in the paint.
LeBron James had 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Cavaliers. Kevin Love had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Kyrie Irving had 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. Kyle Korver had 14 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. DeMar DeRozan had 37 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 rebounds for the Raptors. Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and 8 rebounds. Norman Powell had 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Serge Ibaka had 12 points, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks.
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Cleveland is outscoring teams 110-107 this season. Cleveland is #4 in scoring but #20 in points allowed. The Cavaliers are shooting 47% from the field including 38.4% from three point range. Cleveland is in the top five in both categories. The Cavaliers make 74.8% of their free throws and are #23 in that category. Opponents are shooting 45.8% from the field and 36.1% from three point range. Cleveland averages 43.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.2 per game. The Cavaliers average 22.7 assists, 13.7 turnovers, 6.6 steals and 4 blocks per game.
LeBron James averages 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. James is having another MVP quality season. Kyrie Irving averages 25.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Kevin Love averages 19 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He missed around 20 games with a knee injury and several games down the stretch for rest. Kyle Korver averages 10.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Channing Frye averages 9.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. J.R. Smith averages 8.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Richard Jefferson, Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Deron Williams, and Derrick Williams will also get minutes in the rotation. Kay Felder is out with a leg injury.
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Toronto is outscoring teams 107-103 this season. The Raptors are in the top ten in both categories this season. Toronto is shooting 46.4% from the field and 36.3% from three point range. The Raptors make 79.6% of their free throws and are #8 in that category. Opponents are shooting 44.9% from the field and 35.4% from three point range. The Raptors are #6 in field goal defense. Toronto averages 43.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.1 per game. The Raptors are #6 in rebounds allowed. Toronto averages 18.5 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 4.9 blocks per game.
Guard DeMar DeRozan averages 27.3 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Kyle Lowry averages 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Forward Serge Ibaka, acquired in a midseason trade with the Orlando Magic, averages 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Center Jonas Valanciunas averages 12 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Terrance Ross averages 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. DeMarre Carroll, Luis Scola, Cory Joseph, Norman Powell, Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker and Delon Wright will also get some minutes in the rotation.
Cleveland is 5-0 ATS after a straight up win, overall, against Eastern Conference teams, and after scoring 100 points or more, 4-0 after a cover, in road games, and against teams with winning home records, 7-1 in conference semifinal games, and 5-1 against Atlantic Division teams. The road team is 6-2 in this series recently. The Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS against the Raptors recently. The favorite is 4-0 ATS in this series. Cleveland has covered their last four trips to Toronto.
Toronto is 15-7-1 ATS against teams with winning road records, 1-4 after allowing 100 points or more, after a cover, and in Conference Semifinal games, and 1-5 at home. The under is 21-6 in Toronto in this series recently.
Toronto put up a fight in the first half of game three even without Lowry, thanks to an impressive performance from DeRozan. However, it is clear Cleveland is simply the better team. Toronto might have the pride to avoid the sweep, but I think the Cavs will close it out with another double digit win.