2018 Playoffs: Game 4 Preview - Raptors at Cavaliers
Toronto Raptors (0-3) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0)
When: Monday, May 7th 8:30 P.M. ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena
Broadcast info: TNT, TSN, SN590
The Raptors dropped a 105-103 decision to the Cavaliers in Game 3 as LeBron James banked in a running one-hander as time expired. The game was a roller coaster for Toronto. The Raptors trailed by double digits in the opening quarter, but fought all the way back only to unravel in the final minutes of the first half to take a 15-point deficit into the locker room. In the second half, Toronto trimmed a point off the lead in the third quarter to head into the fourth trailing by 14 points. They mounted a furious comeback in the final frame, outscoring Cleveland 38-26, with OG Anunoby tying the game at 103 with eight seconds remaining on the clock. James received the inbounds pass, dribbled down the court and drilled his shot as the buzzer sounded to give the Cavaliers a 3-0 series lead.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: The injury report is currently clear for both teams.
Bottling the fourth: The Raptors enter Game 4 with a single mission: Win or start the offseason earlier than desired. After losing each of the first three games a different way, the one thing to take from the loss in Game 3 is how the team played in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Cavs 38-26, as they came back from a 14-point deficit, and were a LeBron James buzzer beater away from forcing overtime.
OG ready: Rookie OG Anunoby has been fantastic these playoffs. After a solid rookie campaign, starting 64 of 72 regular-season games played in his first season, Anunoby has upped his game in his first postseason experience on both ends of the floor. In Game 3, in addition to guarding LeBron James on the defensive end, Anunoby scored a playoff career-high 18 points on 7-for-12 field goals, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. His game-tying three with eight seconds remaining came with zero hesitation.
Turnover's mounting: Though the Raptors helped to force Cleveland into 12 turnovers, more than Cleveland's combined turnovers in Games 1 and 2, the Raptors still turned the ball over 17 times, leading to another 18 points scored by the Cavaliers. In three games this series, Cleveland is outscoring Toronto 52-19 on points off turnovers.
FVV hive: Fred VanVleet moved into the starting lineup for Game 3. This wasn't just his first playoff start, but the first start of his NBA career. Though he struggled from the floor, hitting just 2-of-9 field goals and finishing with a modest stat line of eight points and two assists, VanVleet's presence was a positive for the Raptors who were a team-high +14 in his 33 minutes.
Lowry leads the way: Through three games, Kyle Lowry is leading the Raptors offensively, averaging 22 points per game. He's been extremely efficient as well, shooting 63 percent from the floor, 50 percent from beyond the arc and 86 percent from the free throw line. In 38.2 minutes per game against the Cavaliers, Lowry is also averaging 8.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 4.8 rebounds per game.