CLEVELAND – Lineup changes, defensive schemes, game plans – none of it matters if LeBron James is hitting 3-pointers.
James had another sensational performance Wednesday, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a resounding 125-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors to take a 2-0 series lead in this Eastern Conference semifinals matchup.
It was a reminder of last season’s East finals, when the Cavs took Games 1 and 2 at home by a combined 50 points.
They’ve outscored the Raptors by 33 points so far as this series moves to Toronto.
He briefly returned and limped through a few minutes to finish a 20-point night but left again with the game out of hand.
The Raptors are encouraging James to take outside shots and trying to put him on the line after he shot a career-worst 68 percent on free throws in the regular season.
Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving followed up his playoff career-high 10 assists in Game 1 with 11 in Game 2 as the Cavs’ 3-point shooting ripped the Raptors.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey changed his starting lineup, inserting Norman Powell and Patrick Patterson, trying to get more shooting and ball movement to attack the Cavs’ traps on Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
He had the lowest-scoring playoff game of his career.