"It's not easy to win a Game 3 on the road or three in a row in a playoff series".
After going up 2-0 last season, the Cavs were blitzed by the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals and ended up forcing Cleveland to win the series in six games.
Toronto led by three points at halftime but the Cavaliers kept pressing in the third and seized command in the fourth.
SPURS 103, ROCKETS 92HOUSTON - Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points apiece to help the San Antonio Spurs, now without Tony Parker, beat the Houston Rockets 103-92 on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals. A loss would end a post-season that began with Toronto aiming to go one step further than last year's historic playoff run.
All told, Toronto's reserves had just nine points to the 30 Cleveland's bench provided.
Playing without their All-Star point guard, Toronto gave the Cavaliers all they could handle for the first three quarters.
"You still can't take away everything we accomplished this year", DeRozan said after Saturday's practice. It was tough. It changed your mindset, not just for me, the whole team as well.
"We knew we were going to get their best shot". Kyle Korver drilled back-to-back three-pointers to send Cleveland into the fourth quarter with a 79-77 lead.
"DeRozan was incredible - he gave everything he had", said James.
The win, sealed by a 20-3 Cleveland run to start the fourth quarter, gave the Cavaliers a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Kyrie Irving also scored 16 while Kyle Korver had 14 points.
The challenge is the brick wall that is LeBron James, who's playing the best basketball of his career, and is just 176 points shy of Michael Jordan for the NBA's all-time playoff scoring record.
Their win came despite a huge performance from Rockets star James Harden, who had 43 points. James started the game trailing Jordan by 211 points with 5,776 points.
Kyrie Irving scored 16 points and Kyle Korver had 14 for the Cavaliers James had eight rebounds and seven assists. The Cavs hit only 7 of 22 field goals in the second period and lost four turnovers. The fact that Toronto was down only two before Norman Powell converted their first three-point attempt with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter speaks to just how disinterested the Cavs played for most of this night.
Toronto shot only 2 of 18 from 3-point range while the Cavaliers were 13 of 23.
Charity Stripe: The Cavs shot 85.7 percent from the free throw line, hitting 24-of-28.
As usual, LeBron James had a lot to do with the fourth-quarter surge.
Chairman of the Boards: The Cavs dominated the boards, 58-33.
The Raptors missed the first 12 three-pointers they attempted, not seeing one go down until Norm Powell took the lid off the basket with a make on attempt No. 13 by the team.
The Cavs had held DeRozan in check during the first two games, largely because of the defense of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and James.
Lowry, who suffered a sprained left ankle in the second half of Game 2 Wednesday, was listed as questionable for the game Friday.
Not surprisingly, Lowry, who watched the game from the bench with an ankle injury, found himself apparently somewhat in awe of what King James continues to do on a yearly basis.