NBA: Cavaliers beat Raptors, Spurs topple Rockets

Lebron James (right) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball as DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors defends on May 5, 2017.
Lebron James (right) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball as DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors defends on May 5, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - LeBron James scored 35 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 115-94 on Friday (May 5) to take a 3-0 stranglehold lead in their second-round National Basketball Association (NBA) Eastern Conference play-off series.

James also tallied eight rebounds and seven assists as Cleveland will seek to clinch the series with a win in game four on Sunday in Toronto.

The Raptors played without star point guard Kyle Lowry, who sprained his ankle in Wednesday's loss in Cleveland.

Toronto led by three points at half-time but the Cavaliers kept pressing in the third and seized command in the fourth.

James was instrumental in the comeback, scoring 13 points in the final quarter.

Kevin Love delivered 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavaliers, and Kyrie Irving also scored 16 while Kyle Korver had 14 points. Tristan Thompson added nine points and 12 rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan rebounded from a poor performance in game two to lead Toronto with 37 points.

Elsewhere, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points as the San Antonio Spurs used a barrage of late three-pointers to overcome James Harden's 43-point performance to beat the Houston Rockets 103-92 in their play-off series.

Aldridge was especially dangerous from in the paint in game three as the Spurs took a 2-1 lead in the second-round Western Conference series.

He shot 12-of-20 from the field, a much better performance than the four points he scored in Houston's one-sided win in game one.

Kawhi Leonard added 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Spurs.

Trevor Ariza tallied 17 points for Houston but had just two after half-time.

The Rockets' three-man bench of Eric Gordon, Nene and Lou Williams combined for 10 points on three-of-19 shooting.

Houston shot just 36 per cent from the field and could not keep pace with San Antonio, who were playing without injured point guard Tony Parker.

Parker will miss the remainder of the 2017 postseason after suffering a ruptured left quadriceps tendon in the fourth quarter of game two.