If you want a great example of how good Cleveland was on offense tonight in their 128-110 Game 2 win, there’s no better place to look than at Toronto’s offensive box score. Because the Raptors were fantastic on that end of the floor.
The Raptors scored their 110 points on excellent shooting, hitting 54% from the field, 40% from 3, and 91% from the free throw line. Those are excellent numbers, and when a team scores at that level, it almost always results in a win, or at the very least a close game. But don’t take my word for it, take Kevin Pelton’s, because he actually knows what he’s talking about:
As an illustration of how good Cleveland was offensively tonight, the Raptors had a 50/40/90 night as a team (54/40/91). Per @bball_ref, teams that hit those marks were previously 45-6 this season and none of them had lost by double figures: https://t.co/2BYWo4FPSN
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) May 4, 2018
only the second team ever to lose a playoff game while hitting those marks too pic.twitter.com/oVZxbmbX3T
— Niklas Theisen (@NTheisen9) May 4, 2018
So how did Cleveland win despite allowing Toronto to make shots at that kind of clip? Well, for one, they forced 11 turnovers, which isn’t a massive amount, but it’s something. And though Toronto shot a good percentage from the line, they only attempted eleven free throws, a combination of settling and the Cavs avoiding fouls. (And, just maybe, an example of the officiating.)
But it’s more about what the Cavs did on the offensive end of the floor.
Cleveland only turned it over three times, for one, which is ridiculous. That’s how you maximize your possessions to overcome the other team scoring at will. But they also shot the lights out themselves, hitting 59% from the field and making 42% of their three-point attempts. They also made 17-23 free throws; whenever you’re making more free throws than your opponent is attempting, you’re likely on the right path.
And, also, the Cavs have LeBron James, who absolutely went off yet again. James was 19-28 from the floor for 43 points, dishing 14 assists and grabbing 8 rebounds. Kevin Love was also awesome, making 11-21 shots for 31 points. That’s Cleveland’s best two players combining to go 30-49 from the floor for 74 points.
With that, we have Toronto heading to Cleveland down 2-0 in the series. Not an ideal place to be in, and there’s a chance that the toughest test Cleveland will face on their way to the Finals was their opening round series against Indiana.