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Full Highlights: Cavaliers put Jurassic beatdown on Raptors to take 2-0 series lead, 125-103

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The NBA’s defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers found themselves leading in the early phases of tonight’s semifinal game against the Toronto Raptors. At one point in the first quarter, the champs jumped out to a ten point lead.

The Cavs were just shooting the lights out of the gym. Marks of 12-of-17 from the field and 5-of-5 from downtown led to a 12 point Cleveland advantage at the end of the first frame, 34-22

Channing Frye opened the second quarter by converting his third three-point shot of the night. And just like that, the Cavs were off and running.

The Raptors did manage to trim their deficit to nine near the midway point of the quarter, forcing a Cavaliers timeout. However, directly after the timeout, LeBron James broke free for an easy run at the basket to push the Cavs’ lead to 11.

James appeared to roll an ankle on his next drive to the hoop, but The King simply tightened his shoe laces and shook it off. How did he shake it off, you ask? Back-to-back three-pointers to push the Cavs’ lead to 14, that’s how. All of a sudden, the Cavs were 8-of-8 from beyond the arc.

With just under five minutes remaining in the first half, James was sent to the free-throw line after missing a driving layup. The crowd inside Quicken Loans Arena instantly began to chant “MVP” as he approached the stripe.

The Cavs closed the quarter on another great offensive run. At the break, they were leading by 14 points, 62-48. Cleveland finished the first 24 minutes of tonight’s game with marks of 22-of-38 (58%) from the field and 10-of-15 (67%) from deep. The Cavs also clamped down on defense through the first half, allowing Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan to just one point on 0-7 shooting.

Coming out of the locker room, the Cavs continued to build on their lead. Just a few minutes into the third quarter, James stepped up and buried another three. Not just any three, though. This one tied James with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762) for second place on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. Just moments later, James buried another three to pass Kareem.

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry injured his ankle in an on-court collision with his teammate during the third quarter. Lowry hobbled back to the locker room under his own power. After a brief attempt at pushing through the pain, team physicians deemed that he should not return to play.

Kyrie Irving decided to join the scoring party in the closing minutes of the third quarter. Irving knocked down a soul-crushing three to push the lead to 18. On the next play, Irving, who seemed intent on being a facilitator in tonight’s game, found Tristan Thompson for an easy dunk to give the Cavs a 20 point advantage. Subsequently, the Raptors called a timeout.

After three quarters of play, James and Irving had combined for 58 points. The champs held the Raptors to just one point in the final four minutes of the third quarter, leading to a 26 point advantage, 99-73.

The fourth quarter began with a deep three-pointer from Cavaliers marksman Kyle Korver. From there, James and the second unit looked to close the door on any hopes of a Raptors comeback effort.

Frye, who finished tonight’s game with 18 points and a 5-of-7 mark from beyond the arc, knocked down a series of three’s to push the Cavs’ lead all the way out to 30. There was simply no coming back from that.

With just over six minutes remaining in the game, James made his way to the bench for a substitution. An ovation of MVP chants rang out from the crowd as he took a seat.

When the dust settled inside The Q, the Cavs had played their way to a 125-103 victory, thanks in large part to their efficient shooting.

Tonight’s game ball will once again go to LeBron James, who finished tonight’s bout with 39 points (10-of-14 from the field, 4-of-6 from deep), six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks in his 37 minutes of playing time.

The Cavs will be back in action on Friday night, when they travel to Toronto for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST.

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