Sore ankle keeps Raptors G Lowry out of starting lineup

To read this article in one of Houston's most-spoken languages, click on the button below. But the Raptors would be a different team without Lowry.

On the Rockets- "You sort of get the feeling [Harden] expected it. I believe in our guys, and I know there is another level we can get to". "Especially playing without Kyle".

Other than him, only Serge Ibaka (12 points - all in the first half), Norman Powell (13 points) and Jonas Valanciunas (18 points) scored in double digits. Four losses in the East in three years, and Toronto got two of them.

Toronto Raptors star point guard Kyle Lowry said he'll be a game-time decision for Friday night's playoff matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"It was tough. It changes your mindset. He wanted to. The doctors and trainers and medical people were just telling him he shouldn't try to go because he was in so much pain".

The Raptors also trimmed the number of Cleveland three-point attempts that the National Basketball Association considers "open" and "wide open" from Game 1 to Game 2, and the Cavaliers still ended up making four more three-balls in the second game.

The Raptors led by as many as five points in the third quarter.

Playing without its All-Star point guard, Toronto gave the Cavaliers all they could handle for the first three quarters. They scored just three points through the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.

DeRozan truly proved his worth when he was on the bench to start the fourth.

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He responded by allowing just four goals over his next five starts, all wins, with a ridiculous.975 save percentage. Two goals that largely silenced a sellout Honda Center crowd showed that they've got a lot of work ahead of them.

That's three losses by a total of 54 points. I don't know what it does for the playoff hopes. "Tonight this was needed and I did it".

Tristan Thompson finished with 12 boards to go with nine points as the Cavaliers, as a team, mauled the Raptors on the glass, with Thompson and Love combining to equal as many boards as Toronto had as a team. "I have to be able [to] play defense, run up and down, make cuts, and I think the making cuts part will be most important". The two Canadian musicians met on the court at halftime for a warm embrace.

Ordinarily, what would be riding on the next two games for the Raptors would be relatively simple: their season, their future, their sense of what has been accomplished by a team that is one of the last eight teams standing, and that if not for Lowry's wrist injury would probably be fighting Boston tooth and nail for the right to face Cleveland one round later.

Game 4 is Sunday in Toronto. "Like I said, you've got to give credit to J.R".

Casey, though, is confident his team can go home and even the series. It's about the fight, the scratch, the want to, to grind it out. The Cavaliers outrebounded the Raptors 49-25. Another win on Friday would match the longest playoff winning streak of James' career. "That's what great players do, they bounce back".

LeBron provided all the insight future opponents need in going up against him going into the series. They've lost by an average of 24.2 points. DeRozan scored from everywhere but the 3-point line. Even though the Cavaliers had shot over 70% in the first quarter, even though they had out rebounded the Raptors 13 - 2 and even though the Cavs shot 100% from beyond the arc the game still felt very much within reach.

When DeRozan saw his backcourt mate go down early in the third quarter on Wednesday, with the game already getting away from them, he thought: "Couldn't get no worse". He entered play averaging 32.7 points in playoff games that follow a game in which he was held under 10 points.

Thanks to LeBron James' continued record-setting play, the Cavaliers made a statement with a dominant 125-103 victory over the Raptors in Game 2 at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday. They would need to shoot well, and have Cleveland do the opposite.

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