The Toronto Raptors looked competitive in Game 2 — the first quarter made it look as if the Cavs Game 1 blowout was an anomaly, that the Cavs were in for a fight. Hoops fans will remember not long ago the San Antonio Spurs blew out the OKC Thunder in Game 1 before a shocking reversal. These things happen. But they don’t happen to LeBron James’ teams. Turns out that the Raptors first quarter was the anomaly. And the clue is here: even though the Raptors played great ball in the first, they still lost it 30-28. They lost the second quarter by 12, the third by 3 and the fourth by 2. They lost all four quarters. That’s how you dominate a game, one quarter at a time.
LeBron James dominated in every aspect individually too, despite shooting a woeful 9-17 from the free throw line. That’s right, James went to the line 17 times. (The Raptors took 18 as a team compared to Cleveland’s 37.) Perhaps those didn’t fall as usual because it was a night when James looked like he couldn’t stand to be still. His normally hyper-athletic performance was shifted into some kind of super overdrive. (See reverse slam off a steal.) He scored 23 points, had 11 rebounds and 11 assists. James is poised to go to his sixth straight NBA Finals, where a victory would mean he’d won half of them. Six straight Finals is Bill Russell kind of stuff — no modern player has achieved it.