LeBron James on game-winning shot vs. Toronto Raptors

Sherman Parsons
May 6, 2018

With the game tied at 103-103, James took possession of the ball and shot a floating two-pointer to win the game 105-103 as the Quickens Loan Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, erupted.

Casey wanted to trap James on the final play, but he went by defenders at "100 miles per hour". The 10-footer came just seconds after Toronto had tied it 103-103 on OG Anunoby's three pointer with eight seconds on the clock.

If there's anyone who would know, it's James.

Joel Embiid had 22 points and 19 rebounds in a postseason-high 41 minutes.

Heading into Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, much of the national media had already given the series to the Cavs.

The Cavs, up 2-0 on the Raptors after a dominant 128-110 win in Game 2, are in the driver's seat to advance, if not sweep.

"We have one more game", said Casey, perhaps stating the inevitable.

"They gave us everything they have and more", James told ESPN after the game.

"The level of difficulty of that shot, it was very hard", he said with a smile. One of the 129 teams at N.B.A. history to collapse behind, 3-0, not one has come straight back to succeed.

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"Fight", Lowry said when asked what's next.

For the first time this season the Toronto Raptors are in serious trouble. Toronto had the East's best record, the No. 1 seed, home-court advantage and a Cleveland team that appeared very beatable.

"There was way more time than I needed", he said.

Serge Ibaka's basket was originally counted and then waved off by the referees, and the reversal was doubly painful as Love buried a 3-pointer to put the Cavs ahead by 13.

DeRozan had three points on 1-for-9 shooting at that stage, marking the sixth time he's scored three or fewer points in a half of playoff action. But there's no fast-tracking the process where you say, 'OK, let's try to end this thing so we can get some rest.' You do that, and you get a lot of rest.

In games and during practice, his teammates have seen the best of LeBron.

DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry had 5 fouls each in Game 3. He inserted 6-foot guard Fred VanVleet and benched forward Ibaka, going with a smaller lineup to push the pace. I had to get open. After a Raptors turnover, James found Jeff Green cutting to the basket utterly unmolested by any Toronto defender.

The Houston Rockets ended the Utah Jazz's seven-game home winning streak with a dominant game-three performance and game four will be a great indicator as to whether this game was a backbreaker or a wake-up call for Utah.

A gassed James called for a sub and was removed from the game with 4:04 left and the Cavs up 11, but Love took over at that crucial juncture.

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