NBA: DeRozan puts up bounty on James

Toronto star in jocular offer to pay those who can prevent his opponent dominating series

CLEVELAND • Does anyone have any spare change? DeMar DeRozan will take it to pay someone to stop LeBron James.

And it is time to pay up.

James scorched the Toronto Raptors for 39 points and became the NBA's second all-time leading scorer in the post-season in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 125-103 victory on Wednesday in Game Two of this Eastern Conference semi-final.

The Cavs own a commanding 2-0 lead in this series with Game Three in Toronto today.

"You find somebody to stop LeBron in these moments, I'll give you US$100 (S$139)," DeRozan said.


LeBron James shooting during the Cleveland Cavaliers' 125-103 victory against the Toronto Raptors in Game Two of the Eastern Conference semi-final. He overtook Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the NBA's all-time post-season scoring list, with only Michael Jordan ahead of him now. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

James destroyed the Raptors, shooting 10-of-14 from the field, 15-of-21 from the foul line and four-of-six from three-point range in 37 minutes.

In six games this post-season - all wins for the Cavs, he is averaging 34.2 points on 56.6 per cent shooting.

He scored 17 points in the third quarter, after which the Cavs led 99-73.

"I don't know, I'm just, I'm feeling pretty good," James said. "My teammates do a great job of putting me in position, my coaching staff do a great job of putting me in position to be successful. And I put a lot of work in on my craft and I live with the results.

"Just blessed I'm able to make a few plays tonight to help us win another game."

James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762 points) for second place with his 27th point in the third quarter, with the rout in this lopsided series already under way. Michael Jordan is first with 5,987 play-off points.

James also became the fourth player in NBA history (Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Manu Ginobili) to make 300 play-off three-pointers. And he has 89 play-off games with at least 30 points, which moved him past Kobe Bryant. Only Jordan (109) 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 team-mate, winning championships in the 80s and things of that nature and how many points he's put up - he's somebody you read about," James said.

"It was always my dream as a kid to be a part of this league and once I seen that gift, and once I seen I had mentors around me that was going to allow my gift to flourish, I didn't take it for granted. I still don't. Even at 32."

Kyrie Irving added 22 points and 11 assists for the Cavs, who have never lost a play-off series (13-0) in which they won the first two games. Cleveland also received 18 points from Channing Frye and 14 from Iman Shumpert off the bench.

  • 5,777

    Career NBA play-off points LeBron James has scored. He trails only Michael Jordan (5,987 points)

The Raptors were led by Jonas Valanciunas' 23 points. Their coach Dwane Casey shifted Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll to the bench and started Patrick Patterson and Norman Powell, looking for a spark that did not come.

All-Star guard Kyle Lowry scored 20 points, but injured his left ankle with 11:33 left in the third quarter and was out of the game for good by the fourth.

DeRozan, the Raptors' leading scorer this season, had just five points on two-of-11 shooting. "It sucks. To lose like we did. To play like I did. It sucks," he said.

"It's frustrating. Now I just have the added time having to wait till Friday night to redeem myself."

The Cavs outscored the Raptors by 39 points from three-point range, making 18 treys to Toronto's five. The Raptors are 1-6 all time in Game Two of any play-off series on the road.

The only silver lining for Toronto is this: The Eastern finals between these teams last season also started with two lopsided Cavs wins, and the Raptors returned home to win the next two games.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2017, with the headline 'Derozan puts up bounty on James'. Print Edition | Subscribe