Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Sore ankle keeps Raptors G Lowry out of starting lineup

Frederick Owens | 07 May, 2017, 15:25

"Those were huge", Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said of Korver's timely three-pointers.

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is active but was not in the starting lineup for Game 3 of Toronto's playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. "He did a helluva job and we know what he's capable of, we just got to get him into a rhythm".

When DeRozan saw his backcourt mate go down early in the third quarter on Wednesday, with the game already getting away from them, he thought: "Couldn't get no worse".

Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in Toronto. "And we're a different team".

James said the game tilted in the fourth because of two things. "You don't want to get swept, especially in your home building". It's reminiscent, he said, of last season's Eastern Conference finals when the Raptors were routed in the first two games to Cleveland and were all but written off before rebounding to win two games at home.

The Spurs claimed a 103-92 win against the Houston Rockets to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semi-final series. However, as we saw previous year, he has struggled to remain consistent in the postseason and the Raptors have suffered. "This year we understood what mindset we had to come in, especially in a rowdy arena like this".

The Big Three tallies 67 points and Kyle Korver provides a spark off the bench.

If Toronto are going to turn this domination into a more competitive battle, they'll need better performances from just about everyone. The Raptors hope that he regains the scoring touch that was absent in Game 2. "For whatever reason it's escaping us right now".

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Cavaliers: Cleveland finished 13 for 23 from 3-point range.

Coming into Friday nights Game 3, the Raptors had lost two straight to Cleveland, and neither was close.

DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 19 for the Raptors, who were without three-time All-Star Kyle Lowry. He worked out a few hours before Friday's game and was on the court during warmups but limped back to the locker room before the national anthems.

"They're into him, they're bodying him", Casey said. "He just couldn't go. The medical people know the severity his ankle".

Even without Lowry, the Raptors trailed 79-77 to begin the fourth, but Cleveland pulled away as Toronto missed 10 of its first 11 field goal attempts to begin the final quarter. In the fourth, DeRozan just a single point - going 0-for-2 from the floor and 1-of-1 from the line.

With Toronto struggling, James hit four free throws on either side of a 3-pointer to put the Cavs up 97-80 with 6:20 left.

The Raptors missed their first 12 shots from 3-point range before Powell connected with 3:09 left in the third. Thompson had 12 rebounds.

Raptors: Joseph started for the first time in 70 playoff appearances. The Cavs were on a nine-game playoff win streak over two seasons in which LeBron James was averaging 35 points.

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