LeBron James scored 43 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists as Cleveland Cavaliers beat Toronto Raptors 128-110 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semi-finals series and his big performance came as no surprise to team-mate Kevin Love.
James labelled his display in the Cavs’ Game 1 win as one of his “worst of the season”, despite recording a triple-double, but he was on top form at the Air Canada Center on Thursday night.
“There’s certain times I would say seeing Bron in shootarounds or in his preparation where you know he’s going to have a big night,” said Love after the game. “This morning you could just sense it.
He knew what was at stake and us getting another one here at their place was going to be huge for us.
“He came out and played that way from the jump tonight. You could just sense that he was going to have a special night early on.”
Cleveland look well placed to secure a spot in the Eastern Conference finals and they will be looking to finish off the series in Games 3 and 4 in Ohio without having to head back to Canada.
Toronto competed well in the opening exchanges and held a lead at the half-way point but a 37-24 third quarter for the Cavs proved the difference and Love was delighted with their strong finish to the game.
He added: “That third quarter was huge for us, we flipped the script.
“That’d been our Achilles heel throughout the entire season but we came out firing, made big shots and played really well on both ends of the floor.”
The Cavs are 1.50 to win Game 3 or 1.75 with a -3.5 handicap.