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National Basketball Association wrap: LeBron James' historic night leads Cavs past Raptors

25 March, 2018, 01:17 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Credit David Zalubowski  AP

They defeated the top-seeded Toronto Raptors 132-129 with five rotation players missing from the lineup. There's always one game that kind of changes your team, the mindset.

"Defensively I think we've gotten loose with our principles, our communication", said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey to Sportsnet's Michael Grange before the game. But there's a reason why despite trailing Toronto by double-digits in the standings, Cleveland has remained the betting favorite to win the Eastern Conference for a fourth straight season.

James also became only the fifth player in National Basketball Association history to have recorded five 40-point triple-doubles during their career in what was his 16th of the season already.

Toronto rolled into town having won nine road games in a row, while climbing past the Cavs and Celtics and into first place in the East. It will be interesting to see then if Drew's hypothesis rings true or if the Cavs revert to the inconsistencies that have plagued them this season.

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"No, no, no", James said Wednesday. "We want to try to continue to just to build off what we did the last couple games and if we do that, we'll put ourselves in a good position going into the postseason".

Ayton was named Pac-12 Player of the Year after averaging 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. However, the Cleveland Cavaliers offered his views on the idea, calling it "wack" in a chat with reporters earlier today.

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Assuming the Cavaliers make the playoffs, LeBron will have a loaded bench and reliable role players surrounding him.

As much as we believe Koby Altman did the right thing when he changed over nearly half of the roster at the deadline, it's hard to know how good the Cavs will be in the playoffs because of the injuries and inconsistencies of some of the new acquisitions. "If you don't turn the ball over, it doesn't allow teams to get in transition versus our set defense". James hit crucial shots and made the biggest pass of the night, kicking it out to Kevin Love for a clutch 3-pointer with 27.5 seconds left that gave the Cavs a four-point lead they wouldn't relinquish.

In case that's not enough to let you know where he stands, James said that the top eight teams in both the East and West should make it to the postseason, without any additional qualifiers. Interestingly, 10 first-place votes went to Houston, a team that looks like they are dominating already. This would be a great stat line for James even without one historic aspect.

The real story was how poorly Toronto played defensively against James, who registered zero turnovers.

James couldn't be stopped and everything Cleveland initiated went through his hands, which is why he had such a presence, as he always does in big games.

"God blessed me with the ability to go out there and guard one through five and our coaches are giving me the opportunity to showcase what I can do on the defensive end and that nature so, I'm enjoying it", said Green, who scored 15 on the other end.

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