Jim Ingraham: LeBron James goes Next! level for win over Raptors

Jim Ingraham: LeBron James goes Next! level for win over Raptors

Jim Ingraham: LeBron James goes Next! level for win over Raptors

It was starting to feel like one of those games for the Toronto Raptors who were unable to make up ground until the fourth quarter.

Once again James played the majority of the match for the Cavs yet was able to produce his second buzzer beater moment of the playoffs.

The Toronto Raptors will be hoping to stave off elimination after getting their hearts ripped out in a 105-103 loss in Game 3.

Look, this is obvious, but it's also impossible to ignore.

In these 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs, a parallel question yearns to be asked: How many more game-winners and how many more records must LeBron James break before he is called the greatest of all time?

Hill is a three-point threat without the notoriety of any of the aforementioned players but leave him outside and he'll make you pay too.

But it wasn't just the last-second kiss off the glass.

James has conserved his energy on the defensive end in favor of keeping himself ready for a fourth-quarter explosion but his demise on the defensive end has been largely exaggerated.

When Tristan Thompson made it 113-105 with a hook shot, Cleveland was off and running to its Game 1 victory-even as LeBron was, by choice, scoreless in the five-minute extension.

"Tie sport, down one", James stated.

The Raptors don't have an answer for James. He is 11-2 in opposition to Toronto prior to now three postseasons.

Next it's the Celtics, minus Kyrie Irving, vs. the Cavs, with LeBron James. The problem for the Raptors is simple.

James has carried the Cavs all season, but in Cleveland's last two wins, his teammates have taken some weight off his shoulders.

Things Toronto did better, as far as its intensity and tactics compared to the first two games of the series against Cleveland.

James finished with 38 points, Kevin Love added 21 and 16 rebounds and Kyle Korver 18 for the Cleveland, who can sweep the Raptors for the second consecutive year.

And it's not just Love. It continues to get tougher to see any team in the East stand a chance against James.

For the Raptors, they haven't gotten Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to both have a good game and that has been a big reason for them falling into a 0-3 hole. DeRozan, despondent at not having the ability to do extra or assist when it mattered most, went simply Three of 12 from the sphere and scored eight factors. The Cavs attacked DeRozan with plenty of double-teams and traps, clearly emphasizing the importance of forcing the ball out of his hands. Explain this to someone who did not witness it: "A player in his fifteenth season ran full court, full speed, past multiple defenders, throws up an off-balanced floater at the buzzer to win the game, and drains it". It didn't sound like DeRozan was given an explanation for the surprising move, but the group Toronto had on the floor cut down a significant deficit, so Casey likely just stuck with what was working. "It definitely sucks to be watching, but like I said, you've got to give credit to those guys. We would've at least gotten ourselves back into the game and made it a fight'".

DeRozan had a crappy outing but without him, his leadership, his production, the Raptors wouldn't even be where they are now to begin with.

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