Raptors players say team must show more effort but series 'not over'


"I wasn't that good of a player in that series", LeBron said following Cleveland's Game 2 win Thursday at the Air Canada Centre, where the Cavs completely sucked the life out of the building and the Raptors' will. James got nine hours of sleep and was doing nearly nonstop recovery methods during the time he was awake. He scored nine of his points in the third quarter on 4-for-5 shooting when Cleveland blew the game open with a 37-24 run. James had 43 points and eight boards for the Cavaliers, who took two straight in Toronto after the Raptors posted a 34-7 home record during the regular season. It added up to the fourth 40-point game James has had in this postseason, which ties his career high for such games in the playoffs.

During the current playoffs, LeBron James has often looked like a man carrying the weight of a franchise on his shoulders, but on Tuesday night his teammates helped him out when he needed it most. Even with a system that encourages other players to step up, Toronto needs more from its star guards than that.

Cleveland have eliminated Toronto from the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, including a sweep in the second round previous year.

In Game 1, the Raptors exploited Cavs lineups with Love at center by attacking the paint and feeding Jonas Valanciunas when he had Love on him. "I just think there's ways to get over things, and all it takes is seeing the ball go through the hoop sometimes, and whatever ailments you're dealing with, you just have to fight through it because the team, we need everybody". Kevin Love, just a day after head coach Tyronn Lue showed faith in him, put up 31 points and 11 rebounds. "It's the first one to win four".

And to make matters worse, the Raps are 0-for-5 all-time in Cleveland come playoff time. Toronto was the better team all season long, and might have had a chance to steal a road game and really make the series interesting. Kyle Lowry scored 21 points and he made seven shots on 10 tries.

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The Raptors, who let a 10-point lead slip away in a 113-112 overtime loss in Game 1, were up 54-45 midway through the second quarter but saw their lead dwindle to 63-61 at halftime.

"I know what I have to do now", James told Paul.

"When he retires, that's what you admire what he's done", said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. "Mentally, I was thinking too much, overthinking the plays".

The online humiliation went into overdrive at the end of the third quarter, when ESPN announcer Mark Jones called the city "LeBronto" as the broadcast went to a commercial break.

After Game 2, James was asked about how he's developed as a player since essentially being shut down by Casey and the Mavs' gameplan nearly seven years ago.