Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 5-5-2018 - Prediction & Preview

How Tristan Thompson’s fourth-quarter work on Jonas Valanciunas helped rally Cavaliers

Maverick Carter reacted on Twitter to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers destroying the Toronto Raptors in a pretty fun way on Thursday night.

Anyone who felt that the Raptors could take down the Cavs this year has been served a dose of reality in these first two games. Again. The only person on the sideline who spent as much time on his butt was the Raptors global ambassador, Drake, who barely fidgeted in his seat (let alone stand and preen) after that silliness with Kendrick Perkins in Game 1. This season, Philadelphia was 8-5 on two days rest, averaging 111.4 points per game (their highest average of any days rest scenario that featured more than one game). Cleveland was 16 of 22 from the field in the quarter.

Early in the second quarter of the Game 1 victory Tuesday at Toronto, the Cavaliers had the mismatch they wanted. The Raptors entered 6-1 all-time when playing Game 2 at home.

There are several things the Cavs need to do better in game 2.

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As the Cleveland Cavaliers looked to steal another game on Toronto's home floor, the game between the two Eastern Conference rivals was close. The Cavaliers shot a sizzling 59% from the field which included an 11 for 26 mark from beyond the arc. JR Smith scored 15 points, Jeff Green added 14 and George Hill had 13 for the fourth-seeded Cavaliers. Entering Game 2 on Thursday, the Cavs are shooting 34 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. "That was only the second quarter, and we knew the game was far from over", Jayson Tatum told TNT about the comeback.

The question now is: What can the Raptors do to even get back in this series at this point? Raptors big man Jakob Poeltl was guarding LeBron James while all five Toronto defenders had eyes on where James was going. At the beginning of the second period, the three-time National Basketball Association champion had scored 17 points and had made all his seven shots, while the rest of team combined had 18 points and shot 6-of-18. Throughout the regular season, no team had better point differential in the clutch than the Cavaliers (plus-80 in 154 minutes). You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app. But Cavs closed to within three points at the half, and opened up the second half on fire.

In fact, Love took the public behind the scenes to before tip off, when James basically predicted what he was going to do to Toronto. Furthermore, while Toronto was able to shoot over 50% in game two, their offense has been very inconsistent. It's safe to say the start of the second half did not go the way the Raptors would've liked. Toronto's confidence is very low while the Cavs have all the momentum heading back to their home court.

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