Cavs romp to 2-0 lead
James moves past Abdul-Jabbar, into second place on postseason scoring list
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND — On the playoff stage where he’s starred so many times before, LeBron James is making things look easy.
James scored 39 points Wednesday in moving past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the postseason career scoring list and leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 125-103 blowout of the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” James said. “Just blessed I’m able to make a few plays tonight to help us win another game.”
Just like a year ago in the conference finals, the Cavs are up 2-0 on the Raptors. Toronto has lost its last five playoff games in Cleveland by an average of 24.2 points.
“We take our butt whupping and head home,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey.
Game 3 is Friday in Toronto.
James went 10-of-14 from the field, making four 3-pointers, as the reigning NBA champions won their ninth consecutive postseason game.
“He did miss six free throws,” cracked the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, who sprained his left ankle in the third quarter. “He’s playing unbelievable. He’s playing like LeBron James. We got to figure out a way to not let him beat us, which is easier said than done.”
In Cleveland’s last nine playoff wins, James is averaging 34.9 points, 10 rebounds and 8.1 assists. He has won a road game in 27 straight series.
James came in needing 25 points to pass Abdul-Jabbar, and now has 5,777 in the postseason — only Michael Jordan (5,987) has more.
“You hear a name like Kareem, a guy who’s done so many great things, not only as an individual but as a teammate,” James said. “Winning championships in the ’80s and things of that nature and how many points he’s put up. He’s somebody you read about. I didn’t get an opportunity to actually watch him play growing up, but I just read about his accomplishments and things he was able to do, so, it’s pretty cool.”
Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 11 assists for Cleveland and Channing Frye scored 18 points.
“They’re defending champs and that’s what they look like right now,” Lowry said.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 23 points off the bench for the Raptors. Lowry scored 20 points but spent the fourth quarter in the locker room icing his ankle.
“It’s pretty sore,” Lowry said after limping onto the postgame podium. “It’s painful, but I’m not going to complain about it. Get treatment and get ready to play in Game 3.”
Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan finished with just five points — he didn’t make his first field goal until the first minute of the fourth quarter.