TORONTO — Raptors level guard Kyle Lowry known as out his group’s effort following Thursday’s 128-110 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that put Toronto in an 0-2 gap in the Japanese Convention semifinals.
“Just needed more effort,” Lowry stated when requested in regards to the Cavs’ killer 37-24 third quarter that put Cleveland up for good. “Way more effort. We have to play harder. … Somehow, someway.”
Toronto is the No. 1 seed in the East, successful 59 video games in the course of the common season in comparison with the 50 video games received by the No. four seed Cavaliers. Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have been each All-Stars this season, Dwane Casey is taken into account a number one candidate for 2018 Coach of the 12 months and Fred VanVleet is certain to obtain his fair proportion of votes for 2018 Sixth Man of the 12 months, but the outlet the group finds itself in doesn’t bode properly for the Raptors.
Within the historical past of the NBA playoffs, 26 groups have fallen behind 0-2 to start out a series on their dwelling court docket and 22 of these groups went on to lose the series. Nonetheless, DeRozan — who scored 24 factors in Recreation 2 regardless of a plus-minus of minus-22 — expressed confidence.
“We down two, OK,” he stated. “It’s the first one to win four. It’s not over. Take it one game at a time and go from there.”
DeRozan, together with CJ Miles, was one of many pair of defenders that Kevin Love exploited essentially the most en path to 31 factors after Love scored solely seven factors in Recreation 1. Love went 5-for-5 with DeRozan and Miles on him.
“It’s a team effort,” DeRozan stated. “Can’t just rely on one guy guarding a player like Kevin Love. We all have to be locked in and pull strings together defensively. Figure out how we can help and make things tougher on K-Love when he’s down there posting up. Just show bodies. It’s a team thing and not just one guy, it’s all of us.”
The Cavs now return dwelling the place they received each of their regular-season conferences with the Raptors — 132-129 on March 21 and 112-106 on April Three. Moreover, Cleveland has received eight straight playoff video games against Toronto relationship to the 2016 Japanese Convention finals; LeBron James is 21-Zero in his profession when main 2-Zero in a playoff series; and Toronto is Zero-6 in franchise historical past when trailing 0-2 in a playoff series.
Then once more, an argument may very well be made that the Cavs cannot play any better than they did in Recreation 2 — they posted an offensive effectivity of 138.9, which is their finest in any sport, common season or playoffs, based on information compiled by ESPN Stats & Data with solely three turnovers — and that was after they stole Recreation 1 in which they by no means had a lead till the primary Three-pointer Kyle Korver made in time beyond regulation.
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“We thrive off adversity,” DeRozan stated. “Every single guy on this team, we thrive off it. We’ve been in tough situations before and sometimes that’s what brings the best out of you. That’s where we’re at now and it’s the first team to win four. We understand where we’re at and we’re going to fight.”
Casey echoed the hope of his gamers.
“One thing you have is pride,” he stated. “One thing you have is pride to go into Cleveland and play for pride. I don’t know what the history of down 0-2 is, but one thing I do know is tonight wasn’t us, how we normally play for longer periods of time. We’ll find some answers whether we change the lineup, whatever it is, to keep the offense moving, keep the game moving, and keep the pace going.”
When requested to share his postgame message to his locker room, Casey once more careworn that the Raptors have not performed just like the Raptors but.
“You keep it real,” Casey stated. “The fact that, ‘Hey, that’s not us.’ The way we played tonight is not us. Yeah, we had a hangover from [Game 1] but again, this is the NBA semifinals. … We’ve got to keep fighting, keep our heads up, stay together. All the positive things we’ve got to have. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. I’m sure you guys already have it written. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us, so the only thing you can do is come out and play with pride and prove the fact that we’re a better team than we showed tonight.”