Cleveland defeated the main Eastern favorite with a 132-129 victory at Quicken Loans Arena. A flawless performance by LeBron James changed the script after the Cavs had fallen behind by 15 points in the first two quarters, helping Cleveland take revenge on a brutal loss to Toronto earlier this season.
It was certainly an exciting competition, but what does it really mean in the grand scheme of things? Let's take a look at five things we learned from the Cavs' win.
OK, this is nothing new. However, even by LeBron standards, this game stood out.
James finished with 35 points (11-of-19 shooting), 17 assists, seven rebounds and no turnovers. How impressive is that line? No one else has had that combination.
He drove to the basket when he had an open lane. He threw precise passes to open shooters. He analyzed the Raptors' defense in the second half with surgeon precision.
James said he is at the peak of his powers this season. When Cassidy Hubbarth asked ESPN about that comment, James had a simple answer.
"Do you still believe me?"
The shooting numbers in the second half of the Cavs are crazy: 23-of-38 from the field (60.5 percent) and 9-of-15 from the 3-point range (60.0 percent).
Of James' nine assists in the last two quarters, seven resulted in triples. Hit Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, José Calderón and Jeff Green for their open looks.
Think about how long it took the Cavs to beat the Raptors by three points. James was perfect, the support players increased (George Hill shot 10-of-11 from the field!) And Toronto was right there at the end of the game.
The five-man unit of Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright, Miles, Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl has been one of the best lineups in the NBA throughout the season. That group is currently fourth in the net ranking (plus-23.3) among the five-man rosters with at least 100 minutes of playing time together, by NBA.com. It has been no different in two games against the Cavs.
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