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Cavs throttle Raptors for 2-0 lead in series

The Cavaliers take a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors by virtue of a 125-103 win

CLEVELAND--All Tyronn Lue said he wanted for his 40th birthday was a win.

The Cavaliers got it for him.

Before the tipoff of Game Two, Lue said a win in Game Two would be the best present he could get.

The Cavaliers obliged with a 125-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors in front of a sell out crowd of 20,562 fans at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers lead 2-0 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals series with the next two games in Toronto. The Cavs set a franchise record for points scored in a playoff game with 125. The previous record was 124. Cleveland is now 17-1 at Quicken Loans Arena against Eastern Conference opponents since the 2015 playoffs. Cleveland has now won nine-straight playoff games dating back to last season's NBA Finals. 

"I thought we did a good job defensively and were able to get out to an early lead," Lue said. 

LeBron James scored 39 points to lead the Cavs and during the game passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the second all-time leading scorer in NBA history.

James isn't worried about the Cavs being complacent with two relatively easy wins over Toronto in the first two games. 

"We're not a complacent team," James said. "We found out last year. We had a 2-0 lead and dropped two games up there. If we play with the sense of urgency that we did in these first two games, we'll be alright."

Kyrie Irving added 22 points to go with 11 assists. Channing Frye scored 18 points, hitting five treys. Iman Shumpert also scored 14 points off the bench. The Cavs hit 18 three-point shots in the game to just five for the Raptors. 

"The players did a great job taking what (Toronto) gave us," Lue said. 

The Cavs took a 14-point halftime lead and extended it to 26 points after three quarters when Cleveland took a 99-73 lead. The Cavs continued to build their lead and went up by as much as 30 points at 107-77 when Frye hit one of his three-point shots as the Cavs cruised to victory.

Cleveland led after one quarter, 34-22 that was sparked by a 12-0 run. The Cavs went up by 15 points when Frye hit his third three-point shot in the first half to give Cleveland a 37-22 lead. The Cavs hit their first eight three-point shots to start the game. 

Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors with 23 points off the bench, including 19 in the first half. DeMar DeRozan didn't score a field goal until the fourth quarter and finished with just five points on 2-of-11 shooting. Kyle Lowry scored 20 points, but left in the third quarter with an ankle injury and didn't return. His status for Game Three is unknown. 

Tip Ins

New Franchise Record: The Cavs 125 points is a new franchise record in the playoffs, surpassing the previous record of 124 points.

Good Odds: Teams that take a 2-0 lead in the NBA playoffs have a record of 262-18 overall for a 94 percent chance of winning the series.

Shoot the 3: The Cavs made their first eight shots from three-point range, including three by Channing Frye and two by LeBron James. The Cavs first miss from three-point was by James midway through the second quarter. The Cavs had 10 three's in the first half on 15 attempts (66.7 pct.) Cleveland finished 18-of-33 for 54.5 percent for the game from long range. Frye was 5-of-7, James was 4-of-6 and Irving was 3-of-6.

Good D: DeMar DeRozan was 0-of-7 from the field in the first half and had one point on 1-of-3 free throws. DeRozan was the fifth-leading scorer in the NBA in the regular season. He finished with just five points on 2-of-11 from the field. 

"We know DeMar is a great player," Lue said. "Our strategy is to try to take away what our opponent does best."

Deja Vu: The two teams had the exact same score at halftime of the first two games, 62-48. 

Passing Abdul-Jabbar: LeBron James needed 25 points to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second on the all-time NBA playoff scoring list. Only Michael Jordan is now ahead of James and he will have a chance to surpass Jordan if the Cavs go deep into the playoffs once again. James tied Abdul-Jabbar when he hit a trey with 8:52 left in the third quarter and passed him with another three on the next trip down the court. James finished with 39 points and now has 5,772 points to trail Jordan (5987)  by 215 points.  

"My teammates did a great job of feeding me," James said. 

Changing it Up: The Raptors started Patrick Patterson in place of Jonas Valanciunas in Game Two after Valanciunas scored just six points in Game One. Valanciunas responded off the bench with 19 points in the first half and finished with 23 points.

Dishing It Out: The Cavs had 28 assists, led by Kyrie Irving with 11. Cleveland turned over the ball 16 times. 

Double T: Tristan Thompson had nine points and nine rebounds, while Kevin Love had nine points and seven rebounds. 

Lowry Down: Early in the third quarter, Kyle Lowry went down  when he was hit by teammate Norman Powell. Lowry was taken to the locker room, but returned quickly from the ankle injury. Lowry went to the locker room with 2:40 to play in the third quarter and did not return. He finished with 20 points and his status is uncertain for Game Three.

Next Up: Game Three will be Friday at 7 pm in Toronto with Game Four on Sunday afternoon in Toronto. Last season, in the Eastern Conference Finals the Cavs won their first two games at home, but then lost the next two in Toronto, before winning the final two games to take the series, 4-2.

"We were in the same position last year," Lue said. "We have to go to Toronto with the mindset that this is a business trip. These two games are over and we have to go into these next two games with the same mentality."


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