wnol.info May 20 2018

DeMar DeRozan: Raptors Would Have Won Series If We Had LeBron Too

May 20 2018, 05:37 | Van Peters

"We have another level", James said after scoring 35 points in Sunday's Game 4 win that clinched Cleveland's second straight series sweep.

National Basketball Association champion Cleveland Cavaliers powered into the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday, downing Toronto Raptors 109-102 to complete a four-game sweep of their playoff series. "You've got to go two blocks, but if there's traffic, it'll take you an hour to get somewhere that's two minutes away". In the Eastern Conference Finals, they will face either Boston Celtics or Washington Wizards.

The 11-year veteran, a three-time All-Star, has one year and $12 million remaining on the four-year, $48 million deal he signed in July 2014. "And whatever it takes to beat the best, that's what I've gotta do".

The coach mentioned again how the Raptors were irked by the Cavs' "antics" so far in the series - including LeBron James spinning the ball in his hands before stroking a 3-pointer in Game 2 and pretending to sip a beer on the sidelines in Game 1 - but stopped short of ordering his team to play dirty.

But the Raptors can't bring back the pending free agent if they intend to bring back Dwane Casey for his seventh season as Toronto coach.

With several key players up for free agency, the Raptors must decide who they want back.

"I thought teams would compete a little harder", Green said.

Of course, a switch to the Western Conference also means Lowry's new challenge would be getting past the Warriors, another pretty good team looking likely to make a third straight Finals appearance.

Serge Ibaka scored 23 points for the Raptors, and DeMar DeRozan had 22.

Ducks brace for well-rested Predators
NOTES: With Oilers D Andrej Sekera (undisclosed injury) out for the series, Eric Gryba was active for the second straight game. It should prove to be a valuable experience for the Oilers. "[I was] just trying to get on the plane as fast as I could".

James had nine points in the fourth quarter. "One thing about Case, Case is one hell of a person outside of a coach".

"All I know is what we have been doing has not worked".

While he's been used sparingly so far in this playoff run, 36-year-old Richard Jefferson made major contributions last year in the postseason as the Cavs captured the National Basketball Association title by beating the Golden State Warriors in the finals. From there, the Cavs were able to close the game out as Toronto could not close the gap the rest of the way. "They just turned us, and (it) kept leading to lay-ups for them". He started P.J. Tucker at the small forward spot, an overdue move which paid dividends.

"I didn't call or pressure him the first time, and he didn't do that to me", DeRozan said in a report from ESPN.

Casey tried to preach the positives, but acknowledged that his team's performance hadn't been good enough. Lowry was injured in the third quarter of Game 2 and aggravated the injury while trying to warm up for Friday's Game 3. James scored 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Isaiah Thomas had 19 points for Boston, but scored 17 in the first 15 minutes.

Ibaka averaged 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds between Orlando and Toronto this season.

The Rockets did Rockets things in Sunday's 125-104 home win over the Spurs to tie the series at 2-2. Game 5 is Tuesday night in San Antonio. Although his numbers were slightly lower in the playoffs - 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds - he was not impressive in the postseason. That's what I want to do, beat the best, whoever it is - the Warriors, the Cavs, whoever wins the championship this year.

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