Game 5 was a spectacular display of offense for the Cavaliers and a disheartening one for the Raptors. Toronto got ran out of the gym by the Cavs and their big three of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, and finished the game on the wrong side of a 38-point blowout, 116-78.
The big three got off to a roaring start, powered by Love’s 12 first quarter points on a perfect 4/4 from the field; after his dreadful performance in the previous game, Love knocking down shots was a welcomed sight. Irving was just as fantastic, and he had 11 points on 5/9 shooting. Cleveland hit 68% of their shots en route to 37 points, and James facilitated the offense beautifully and collected four assists. Toronto had a rough time trying to overcome Cleveland’s defense which was visibly more tenacious and energetic. Rotations were crisp, and the players did a great job in one-on-one matchups and held Toronto to just 19 points on 41% shooting. After getting whatever they wanted in Game 4, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry started off just 1/5 with four points combined.
Cleveland’s offensive onslaught continued into the second quarter, and this time, it featured a lot more of James’ scoring. Going 4/7 from the field with eight points, the King led his squad to a 28-point quarter where they shot 56% from the field. Their ball movement was utterly amazing, and the Cavs assisted on eight of their ten made field goals — four came from Matthew Dellavedova alone. Toronto’s all-stars continued to struggle and shot 3/9 for nine of the Raptors’ 15 points. Lowry was back to being in a slump and, not only did he miss four shots from the field, he went 3/6 from the line after shooting 81% in the regular season. After stretching their lead out as far as 34, the Cavs entered halftime with a 65-34 lead.
The Raptors were fortunate to generate some offense out of the break. DeRozan was aggressive and hit seven of his eight foul shots, Lowry was 3/5 from the field with seven points, and Toronto put together 26 points with a modest shooting percentage of 47%. The only problem? Cleveland’s offense didn’t digress at all. It got better out of the intermission, and James and Irving combined for 22 of the team’s 35 points. The Raptors’ defense was almost non-existent — again — and the Cavs finished at 60% shooting. Entering the fourth, the lead was extended to forty, and all the starters were pulled for both sides.
Not only did the Big Three combine for 71 of the 116 points, but they also finished with a combined shooting percentage of 61% (27/44). Love had a tremendously efficient night shooting and went 8/10 — 3/4 from three — while scoring 25.
James wasn’t too far away from a triple-double with 23 points, eight assists, and six rebounds in 31:30 minutes of action and Irving tied LeBron’s scoring output with 23 himself. Lowry and DeRozan were the only two Raptors in double-figures, and they had 13 and 14, respectively.
Cleveland can close out the series on Friday, May 27, in Toronto at 8:30 and send LeBron James to his sixth consecutive finals appearance.