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Toronto Raptors will continue to fight despite long chances



CLEVELAND – Losing the first game is a relative wake-up call, no big deal, a wink and an adjustment.

Losing the first two is urgent, something more disturbing, a sense of the playoff Life flashes before the eyes.

Four lose? It is oh- vah . Oh-four is 1, 2, 3, Cancun, "fishin & # 39;" and next season in one.

That leaves a 0-3 deficit, which is mostly sad.

At 0-3 the story Essentially, it was written a fate of the fighting team decided. In the NBA, there is no room for maneuver – 129 teams in the playoff history have lost in a best-of-seven game 0: 3, 129 teams have lost this series. Only three of these teams even accumulated enough to force Game 7: the 1

951 Rochester Royals vs. New York, the 1994 Denver Nuggets vs. Utah, and the 2003 Portland Trailblazers vs. Dallas.

And yet nothing is official.

was not pulled flatline or not. That was obvious on Sunday when somebody asked Toronto's Kyle Lowry one of those big questions that concerned this season.

"Our season is not over yet," said the Raptors guard, instinctively pulling back. "Ask me this question when it's over."

Narrator: It's over.

All-Access: LeBron's Epic Game 3-in-a-row

Most who stayed late on Saturday consider Toronto's series against the Cleveland Cavaliers not because they 0-3 but because of the So They Got There. More specifically, LeBron shot James & # 39; unlikely, left-handed, gunner, one-legged bank on the buzzer that won her, 105-103. It thrilled the sold-out crowd in the Quicken Loans Arena, but appalled the Raptors' tour group of three dozen or so.

People who are interested have probably observed the last game several times. The Raptors officially did not see it otherwise than in real time. Coach Dwane Casey deliberately did not screen his players on Sunday.

"We know what the problems are, what they were," Casey said after the team's light training in the training hall at the Cavaliers Arena. "From the team stand, 17 turnovers have turned our backs on us.Some of our schematic things that we did not properly cover turned our backs on.The things that led to the end of the game are what we need to clean up."

More specifically, it was the things that led to the fourth quarter that cost Toronto. From that point on, the Raptors were pretty good, outperforming the Cavaliers 38-26 as they sank seven of their 11 3-point shots. After a 14-point deficit in the quarter-finals, they were only at 103, but James was a spectacular finish when he hit the heart.

Before this quarter-final, Toronto was too reckless. It had missed 16 of its 22 from the bow. And one of his two all-stars, wing DeMar DeRozan, had made his way to Casey's Bank with 3-by-12 shooting, inconspicuous defense, just eight points and a minus 23 rating.

Casey's explanation for not bringing DeRozan back into the game was simple: the guys he used were rolling. It was a snapshot of the basic approach he and his staff will need again in Game 4 Monday (8:30 pm ET, TNT).


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