Aggressive Raptors bite back

Toronto's DeMar DeRozan, who top-scored with 32 points, getting in a shot despite the close attention of Cleveland's J.R. Smith in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs' 84-99 loss means they failed to equal the LA Lakers' mark of 11 stra
Toronto's DeMar DeRozan, who top-scored with 32 points, getting in a shot despite the close attention of Cleveland's J.R. Smith in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs' 84-99 loss means they failed to equal the LA Lakers' mark of 11 straight wins to start the post-season.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Cavs vow to 'just fix a few things' for Game 4 after losing their unbeaten play-off run

TORONTO • The Toronto Raptors crushed any ideas that they were going to be swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.

Led by a game-high 32 points from DeMar DeRozan, and a franchise play-off record of 26 rebounds by Bismack Biyombo, the Raptors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-84 in Game 3 of the National Basketball Association Eastern Conference Finals.

"Everybody thought we were going to be swept and I think that fuels us," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.

"I thought we played with force."

It was the first loss of this season's play-offs for the Cavaliers, who swept through the first two rounds undefeated and won the first two games against the Raptors and lead the series 2-1.

"They played like a team with their backs to the wall," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said after his side fell just short of matching the Los Angeles Lakers' record of 11 straight victories to begin a post-season.

UNDERDOGS UNDAUNTED

Everybody thought we were going to be swept and I think that fuels us.

DWANE CASEY, Toronto Raptors coach, on how his team were motivated to get the Game 3 win.

"They came out and they beat us. They were more aggressive, they were more physical, they were more active and they were faster."

The Raptors led by as many as 18 points in the second quarter, were ahead by 13 at half-time, took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter and led by as many as 15 points early in the fourth.

The Cavaliers cut that to eight before Biyombo made six successive points to increase the lead to 14 with 3min 38sec to play.

The 2.06m-tall centre finished with seven points. He also had four blocked shots.

Kyle Lowry added 20 points for the Raptors. Cory Joseph had 14 and DeMarre Carroll and Patrick Patterson each had 10.

"It was amazing, he was big-time," DeRozan said of Biyombo, who matched Dwight Howard and Hakeem Olajuwon for the most rebounds in an NBA play-off game since 1984.

"Without him, we probably wouldn't have this win."

The Cavaliers made only 28 of 79 shots from the floor, a woeful 35.4 per cent, and hit only 14 of 41 three-point attempts.

They were out-rebounded 54-40 - much of those troubles stemming from Biyombo's big night.

LeBron James scored 24 points for the Cavaliers and J.R. Smith added 22. However, Kyrie Irving was a horrid three of 19 from the floor and scored only 13 points while Kevin Love made only one of nine from the floor and scored only three points.

"We didn't play our game and they made us pay for it," James said.

"It was our first loss of the post-season, so it is a little adversity. We've got to go back to the drawing board, not fix everything, just fix a few things and be much better on Monday."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2016, with the headline 'Aggressive Raptors bite back'. Print Edition | Subscribe