Cavs Take 2-0 Series Lead

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Joe Burtzlaff

After being on the brink of elimination in the First Round, the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves with a 2-0 series lead against the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals. Thanks to not only the play of LeBron James, but also support players such as Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, and Kyle Korver, the Cavs take their 2-0 series lead back to Cleveland, where they will have home court advantage.

If you compare the Cavs’ performance in the First Round to their performance so far in the Conference Semi Finals, you might think that they were too different teams. That, however, is not the case; this is the same Cavs team that was within a game of elimination in the First Round, and the same team that got blown out 18 points in Game 1 and by 20+ points in Game Six of that series.

In Game 1 of the Conference Semi Finals, the Cavs had a hard time functioning on offense early in the game, was which partly due to poor shooting by Kevin Love and poor shooting from the 3-point line. As the game went on, however, the Cavs found their groove. Despite facing double-digit deficits in the second half, the Cavs gritted their teeth and fought their way back in the game, in large part to the shooting of J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, and of course, LeBron James.

Finally the Cavs fought their way back to even and the game was tied at the end of the 4th quarter, sending the game into overtime. The defense of LeBron and Jeff Green helped hold the Raptors to just 7 points in the overtime period, which was just enough to help the Cavs squeak by with a 113-112 win in Game 1.

Game 2, however, was a different story. Expecting the Raptors to come out sharp and determined, the Cavs knew they would need to match the Raptors’ intensity if they wanted another win, and that is exactly what they did. Through the first half the Cavs were only down by 2 points, and then the 3rd quarter happened. The Cavs outscored the Raptors in the 3rd quarter by an astonishing 13 points, scoring 37 points compared to just 24 for the Raptors. The Cavs never let up and ended up winning¬†Game 2 by a final score of 128-110.

Even with a 2-0 series lead, the Cavs need to come into Game 3 with the same intensity that they played with in the first two games. Having court advantage should be a big factor in the game, as the Cavs have a chance to go up 3-0 in the series and effectively eliminate the Raptors. Game 3 of the series will take place on Saturday, May 5 downtown at the Q. The game will be televised on ABC and the game tips off at 8:30 ET.