CLEVELAND -- As the first half expired, LeBron James heaved a three-quarter-court shot that clipped the back of the iron, followed the shot at full sprint, then grabbed the rim and pulled himself above the Quicken Loans Arena court. Once again in Game 2, James appeared spry, joyful and unstoppable as his Cleveland Cavaliers routed the Toronto Raptors for the second consecutive game, 108-89, to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
James notched his 15th career playoff triple-double -- 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. As was the case in Game 1, he focused his game inside, converting all seven of his field goals in the paint. Though James has yet to hit a shot from the outside over the first two games, he has effectively controlled the series as both facilitator and force of nature.
Prior to the game, Toronto head coach Dwane Casey likened James to “a computer” for his ability to read the defense and instantaneously process every potential outcome and find the best result.
On Thursday night, the microprocessor behind James’ eyes was humming. He dished out 11 assists, including eight in the first half, as he picked apart the Raptors’ defense when it converged on him -- a little drop-off pass to Tristan Thompson underneath, a kick-out to J.R. Smith in the far corner, a slick bounce pass to a rolling Kevin Love out of a pick-and-roll.
Remember that old rap on Love as the NBA’s most expensive floor spacer? No longer. Examine the paint at The Q following Game 2 and you’d find heavy footprints from Love’s size-19s. He challenged the Toronto defense with aggressive attacks at the basket and worked his way to the line on a regular basis. He finished with 19 points and looked very much the embodiment of the player the Cavs imagined he’d be.
Kyrie Irving played the gunslinger on Thursday night, showing off his handles and attempting some ungodly shots off the dribble, but he’ll hear no complaints. He led all scorers with 26 points on 12-for-22 shooting from the field.
The Cavaliers join the 2012 San Antonio Spurs, the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1989 Lakers as the only teams to start the postseason 10-0. Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday night in Toronto at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.