And just like that, we’ve got a series.
The Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight game Monday, this after losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals by a combined 50 points. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were the two best players on the floor in Game 4, scoring 35 and 32 points, respectively, to give Toronto a 105-99 win and even the series at two games apiece.
“Kyle and DeMar had a superb game tonight,” Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “That’s what you ask for from your All-Stars on your home court.”
The Raptors led 27-24 after the first quarter but took complete control in the second quarter to lead 57-41 at halftime.
“We just tried to come out and be aggressive,” Carroll said. “They took care of their home court, and we tried to take care of ours. Now it’s time for us to try to go to Cleveland and steal one.”
Game 5 is Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Toronto is 8-2 at home in the playoffs but just 2-6 on the road.
“When we get on the road, sometimes we try to do it individually,” said Carroll, who had 11 points, three rebounds and two assists in Game 4. “Hopefully these two games will give us a little bit of confidence to go on the road and try to do it as a team and pick up a win.”
The Raptors certainly appear capable of that, especially if Lowry and DeRozan can duplicate the 67 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals they had in Game 4. Bismack Biyombo has also been stellar as of late. He scored just 12 points combined in Games 3 and 4, but he also had 40 rebounds and seven blocks.
“Bis knows his role,” Carroll said. “He don’t try to go in there and do things he can’t do. He tries to do it for us on the defensive end, getting rebounds, getting blocks. That’s what we need for him to do. That’s how he’s been productive this postseason.”
The Cavs, who were red-hot from distance through the first two rounds of the playoffs, have cooled off a bit. They were 14-of-41 from three in Game 3 (34.1 percent) and 13-of-41 (31.7 percent) in Game 4. Aside from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, who scored 29 and 26 points, respectively – and Channing Frye, who hit four threes off the bench – the Cavs struggled to generate offense.
Whether that continues in Cleveland remains to be seen, but all of the pressure is squarely on the Cavs, who must avoid falling behind 3-2 with Game 6 in Toronto.
“It’s a series now,” Carroll said. “We’re just trying to do what we got to do. We’re trying to make it a series and trying to get to the Finals. Everybody’s trying to get to the Finals and that’s what we’re trying to do as a team. That’s the hard part, man. We just got to keep doing it as a team and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”