For the season, Toronto has defeated opponents by an average of 7.0 points.
Despite fighting and clawing and generally harassing the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first 19 minutes of Game 3, the Raptors stumbled through a stretch of blown assignments and sloppy play to close the half.
LeBron James had 38 points, including his game-winner and Kevin Love finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds. As for James, he had a cool 43 points plus 14 assists and eight rebounds.
With that. With still another preposterous LeBron James masterpiece, there is only one thing left to say. The Raptors have their best roster in franchise history and owned home-court advantage.
The three-time victor has successfully completed the Raptors' beyond 2 seasons, and despite playing with a different supporting cast, James is one win against a Toronto trifecta. The Raptors scored almost 60 percent en route to 63 first-half points.
Desperate to find something, anything, to slow down the Cavs, Casey changed his starting lineup for Game 3. There's a picture floating around of me beside a Little Tikes hoop with a saggy Pamper on and I was doing it back then and all the way up until now, at 33.
With a subtle step outside, James then threw a floater high into the back board and into the hoop as the clock expired, sinking the Raptors who had fought so hard to come back. Saturday night's buzzer-beater also saw the four-time MVP become the first player in the last 15 seasons to clinch multiple buzzer beaters in the same postseasons, given he had already nailed one in Game Three of the Cavs' first-round series against the Pacers. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Smith is great three-point shooter with his feet set but the "Break In Case of Emergency" type of three-point shots that have become his calling card make him a different type outside threat than Korver and Love. Love has struggled from beyond the arc but he was able to have his way in the mid-range and paint in Game 3.
Toronto ranks sixth in assists per game (24.2) while Cleveland ranks 28th in assists allowed per game (25.5). Valanciunas has dominated the paint thus fair and his play in Game 3 will be a deciding factor in any potential Raptors victory.
Coach Dwane Casey kept All-Star wing DeMar DeRozan - who was hurting their cause at both ends - over on the bench near him for the game's last 14:16.
Regain three-point shooting touch. The Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers are in that predicament following Saturday. Cleveland on the other hand has just 10 turnovers.
Experience has been the best teacher for the Cavaliers and in their attempt to discover the recipe they needed to play at a championship, experience has revealed an identity and game plan that was absent during the regular season.
"It's amusing that you asked me that because I was just texting Vic [Oladipo], Darren Collison and Cory Joseph last night [after Game 2] and I said, 'Man, so they're just going to let Cleveland walk into the Eastern Conference Finals?" The Cavs have beaten the Raptors in the playoffs something like - exaggeration alert! "You know he's going left", Raptors guard Kyle Lowry lamented.