Maybe the NBA regular season was just boring for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They snoozed through games, failed to protect leads, bickered and moaned and acknowledged they couldn’t wait for the playoffs to begin.
And here they are now, 6-0 in the playoffs and halfway through disposing of the Toronto Raptors in the second round.
The Cavs, the defending NBA champions, just ripped the Raptors up on Wednesday night. They’re making the playoffs boring. LeBron James scored 39 points in an all-around show of force and Kyrie Irving scored 22 while handing out 11 assists. Cleveland led by 12 at the end of the first quarter, by 14 at the half and by 26 at the end of three quarters.
The Raptors never had a chance and the odds diminished further when All-Star guard Kyle Lowry missed the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. The Cavaliers made their first eight 3-pointers and shot 54.7 percent from the field.
James was brilliant. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762 points) for second place in NBA playoff scoring history, now sitting at 5,777. And he enjoyed his 89th playoff game with at least 30 points, moving him ahead of Kobe Bryant and in arrears only of Michael Jordan (109).
Game 3 is Friday in Toronto and the Raptors ought to be a little more competitive at home. They’ll need to be, because this other guy is clearly on a mission and aiming at his seventh straight appearance in the NBA Finals.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman