Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Cavaliers win battle of division leaders

Cavaliers win battle of division leaders

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LeBron James passed another National Basketball Association milestone Tuesday as the Cleveland Cavaliers kept ahead of Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a win over first place Toronto. It's the first time I got to that number, and it feels great.

The NBA season is winding down, and if the playoffs started today, then the Cleveland Cavaliers (47-30) would be the No. 3 seed. Toronto stayed within striking distance at all times, often cutting the lead to just a couple of scores but never truly threatened the Cavaliers. Valanciunas leads in rebounds with 8.6 while Lowry tops in assists with 6.9.

Toronto is a team that not many people believe can realistically contend for a championship and these past 10 games are proving the doubters right. They were barely connecting on jump shots and three's.

James Harden's 38 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists carried the Rockets past the Wizards, 120-104. The second quarter featured one face palm-worthy stretch in which the Celtics went more than five minutes without a field goal and turned the ball over six times. Their weakest areas are blocks per game (#28), offensive rebounds per game (#27) and steals per game (#25). In an ugly win against the tanking Dallas Mavericks, he shook off a rough shooting game and canned two backbreaking 3-pointers.

In their last five games, Toronto is 0-5 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under. VanVleet had 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting while also dishing out four assists without a single turnover. There certainly is not enough time to make up three games, so the Celtics know this is their last chance. "We got a great opportunity but we still got to go ahead, be professional, and finish games out", said all-star guard Kyle Lowry. "Again, it's about competition, it's about competing at a high level with a big picture in mind, not just trying to win that one game". Marcus Morris ended the night with 21 points on an efficient shooting of 50%.

He led the league in free throw percentage (.981) in 2008-09 and in 3-point percentage (.461) in 2012-13, when he also played with Detroit. The Celtics are the third best defense, allowing 100.1 per game.

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DeMar DeRozan finished with 16 points to help lead the Toronto Raptors to a 96-78 statement victory over the visiting Boston Celtics in a battle of the Eastern Conference's top two teams on Wednesday night.

The Cavs are both three-time defending champs in the East, and a new team. Clarkson shot 3-of-11 against the Raptors.

Cleveland opened as a 2-point favorite before the line dropped to a pick'em, while the total has gone down from 225.5 points.

Considering the form that they have been in this season, the Raptors were expected to challenge LeBron James and the Cavaliers and cause an upset in front of Cleveland fans. The Cavs didn't look back, taking the series 4-1.

Kuzma is the first rookie in National Basketball Association history with 1,200 points, 450 rebounds and 150 3-pointers in a season.

Miles, an essential part of the bench's success, had his worst game as a Raptor - committing four turnovers and five fouls in 20 minutes while missing all six of his shots and offering little resistance on the defensive end.

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