After winning the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals to push their playoff win streak to 10, the Cavs will try to continue their winning ways against Toronto on the road in Game 3 tonight. Here are three keys to a Cavs Game 3 victory.
1. Eliminate the Home Crowd
The Raptors have enjoyed a sizable home court advantage all season long. Toronto is 6 – 2 at home in the playoffs and went 32-9 in the Air Canada Centre in the regular season. The Wine and Gold also lost the two regular-season games they played in Toronto. Raptors fans are going to be loud at the start of the game, but a strong start from the Cavs could quiet them early and make Toronto’s home advantage a non-factor in the game.
2. Keep Kyle Lowry Cold
Kyle Lowry was 8/28 from the field in the first two games of the series, averaging just 9 points a game. Lowry is more than capable of putting up big numbers against Cleveland. He erupted for 43 points in a 99-97 home win over the Cavs in February, but good team defense has frustrated Lowry to the point that he went to the locker room to “decompress” during the second quarter of Game 2 as the Cavs were pulling ahead. That same defensive effort will be needed to prevent Lowry from heating up. If he starts scoring, it will open up opportunities for his teammates as well and could give the Raptors a chance to keep Game 3 close after blowouts in the first two games.
3. Take Care of Business
It’s been clear after the first two games of this series that Cleveland is the superior basketball team. If the Cavs continue to get big-time scoring from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love and keep up the intensity on the defensive end, it will be hard for the Raptors to get back into the series with a Game 3 victory. The Cavs have found their rhythm and know what it takes to perform well in these playoffs; now it’s just a matter of continuing to execute their gameplan.