LeBron James Pulled His Weight In The Cavaliers’ Game 3 Loss

Lebron James scored 24 points in the Cavaliers’ first playoff loss Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors, while teammates Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving scored three and 13 points, respectively. Lebron also scored 24 points in Game 1 and 23 points in Game 2. With Kevin Love’s and Kyrie Irving’s major drop in points in their last game, the Cavaliers are looking to regroup before heading into game 4, which will also be in Toronto.

Kyle Lowry stepped up in Game 3, managing to get 20 points in the game, an increase from his 18 points accumulated in the first 2 games of the series. Lowry showed his playoff scoring potential in the Game 7 win against the Miami Heat in the previous series, scoring 35 points.

DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles past LeBron James. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

DeMar DeRozan, who has averaged 21 points per game this postseason, scored 32 points in the Game 3 win.

Jonas Valanciunas was a scratch for game 3 and is “doubtful” for a return in Game 4. Third on the team in points per game, a return from Valanciunas could help the Raptors close out their second win in the series.

The Saturday night game was full of action, with both suspensions and fines handed out. ESPN reported Raptors coach Dwane Casey was fined $25,000 for his “criticism of officiating.” ESPN reported that Dwane continuously referenced the imbalance between the foul calls on each side. In the first three games of the series, the Raptors were called on 73 personal fouls while the Cavaliers were only called for 46.

At the sound of the buzzer ending Game 3, Bismack Biyombo was shown on his hands and knees with his head on the ground. While some fans thought he was crying for happiness of the win and others thought he was praying, Biyamob addressed the situation in the post-game interview.

“I got hit in an area that I wasn’t supposed to get hit on, or a private area, so to speak,” Biyombo said in the interview. He advised the league to look at what happened, and the league responded with a game 4 suspension against Dahntay Jones for a hit to the groin.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors - Game Three
Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Toronto Raptors fouls LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

That wasn’t the only noteworthy incident caused by the Cavaliers. After Thompson and Biyombo exchanged words, LeBron James joined the feud and took an arm to his jaw, which resulted in LeBron being knocked back several steps before falling onto his back. Whether the hit to the jaw actually knocked LeBron back forcefully or whether it was faked, LeBron was actually hit by a Cavaliers teammate, and not a Raptors player.

The tension between Biyombo and LeBron continued in the fourth quarter, when LeBron attempted a layup but fell to the floor after making contact with Biyombo. The referees sided with LeBron and the Cavaliers, calling a flagrant foul against the Raptors. ESPN announcers disagreed with the calling, saying that calls like this encourage players to fall down after making contact.

After CBS Sports called the Raptors, “the other team,” the win that ended the Cavaliers win streak may have been just what they need to rebuilt confidence against LeBron and the Cavaliers. While the Raptors didn’t surpass 100 points like the Cavs did in Game 1 and 2, Matthew Dellavedova of the Cavaliers claimed “we need to come out and play better defensively.” Game 4 is set for an 8:30 PM start on Monday in Toronto.

[Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]