The Wildcat Voice

Cleveland Cavaliers making playoff run

Ryan Turek, Staff Writer

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Cleveland Cavaliers have been making a historic playoff run as LeBron James leads the way. They sealed the Eastern Conference Championship and will be taking on the Golden State Warriors, again, in the NBA Finals beginning Thursday, May 31.

The Cavs are the underdogs with Golden State favored to win by 12 points–the largest point spread in a Finals game since 1991.

But for now, Cleveland fans celebrate the long and exciting road to the Finals. LeBron has been leading the team, averaging 33.7 points, 9.0 assists, and 8.7 rebounds per game. Kevin Love leads the pack in rebounds with 10.6 per game. Leading in field goal percentage is Larry Nance Jr. with a 73.5%. Jose Calderon boasts a perfect 100% for free throws. Kyle Korver is leading the Cavs in three-point percentage with 46.4%. And Lebron is leading the Cavs with 1.4 steals per game and 1.1 blocks per game.

How they got here

CAVS V. PACERS

Cavs got into a rough start in their first game of the series as they played the Indiana Pacers in game one and allowed their shooting guard Victor Oladipo to score 32 points. The Cavs lost game one 98-80 as they never got their groove going offensively.

Game two was little bit of a different story as the Cavs allowed Oladipo to only 22 points. LeBron took over game two and scored 46 points and had 12 rebounds. The Cavs won game two by a score of 100-97.

AP
Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis (11) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson (13) and LeBron James (23) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The series was tied 1-1 as the series went to Indiana. The Cavaliers had trouble in game three; they got out to a hot start as they had a 57-40 halftime lead; but, the Pacers held the Cavs to only 12 points in the third quarter and closed it out in the fourth quarter as the Pacers won 92-90. Indiana had a big performance from Bojan Bogdanovic, who had 30 points.

The Cavs came ready to play in game four, and they jumped out to a 10-point half time lead. Cavs won game four 104-100. LeBron James was the leading scorer for the Cavs with 32 points and 13 rebounds. Kyle Korver also contributed heavily with 18 points.

The series was tied at 2-2 as Game Five was hosted by Cleveland. Game Five was epic and probably the deciding factor for who would win the series. At the half, the Pacers were up by seven. This game went down to the final shot as Indiana Pacers Victor Oladipo had the potential game-winning layup, but LeBron James chased him down and blocked him as the Cavs got the ball with three seconds left. LeBron got the ball on the inbound and he hit a three pointer over the Pacers Thaddeus Young at the buzzer to win game five for the Cavs. Cavs won 98-95. LeBron lead the way for the Cavs again in scoring with 44 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Korver scored 19 pts.

The Cavs traveled back to Indiana for game six. After the first quarter, the crowd felt that the Cavs looked like they were sleeping the whole game. The Cavs lost game six 121 to 87 and allowed seven Pacers to score in the double figures. Both Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic had ten points for the Pacers. Myles Turner and Lance Stephenson had 12 points. Darren Collison had 15 points, Domantas Sabonis had 19 points, and Victor Oladipo had 28 points. LeBron got held to just 22 points.

Game 7 headed back to Cleveland, and the head coach made some changes to the line up with Tristan Thompson and George Hill starting.  Cavs came out strong as they lead by 11 at the half. Tristan Thompson and George Hill came through big for the Cavs, as Tristan got 15 points and 10 boards and George Hill got 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Hill provided the veteran knowledge the Cavs needed to beat the Pacers. LeBron had 45 points, and the Cavs won 105-101.

 

CAVS V. RAPTORS

The Cavs would then head to Toronto to face the Raptors. The Cavs got off to a slow start in game one. At the end of the first quarter the score was 33-19 Toronto. The Cavs came back in the second quarter as they cut the halftime defecit down to three. LeBron had 26 points,  11 rebounds, and 13 assists. J.R Smith had 20 points. Also for the Cavs, Kyle Korver had 19, Jeff Green had 16, and Tristan Thompson had 14 pts.  Toronto’s center Jonas Valanciunas had a big game with 21 pts and 21 rebounds. The Cavs won 113 to 112 in overtime.

In game two the Cavs were down by three at the half, but they dominated the third quarter as they out scored the Raptors 37-24. The Cavs closed it out in the fourth quarter and won game two in Toronto 128-110. The Cavs had big performances from LeBron James who scored 43 points and dished out 14 assists. Kevin Love also had an impact performance as he scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.  J.R Smith, George Hill, Jeff Green all scored in double digits.

Game three, in Cleveland, started with a 15-point halftime lead over the number 1 seed Raptors.  But the Raptors started to comeback in the second half. The game was tied with 8 seconds left, and LeBron James had the ball. He took a tough one-handed shot and banked it in at the buzzer to win the game for the Cavs.

Game four felt like Cavs had it in the bag. It felt like Raptors had no chance. Cavs jumped out to a 63-47 lead at the half and never looked back. The Cavs won the game 128-93 in what was a very controlling game four.  Cavs swept the Raptors and would head to Boston to play the Celtics.

 

CAVS V. CELTICS

Game one in Boston was a little bit of a wakeup call for the Cavs as they were never in control. The Celtics played LeBron well, holding him to only 15 points with Marcus Morris guarding him The Celtics had three players scoring over 20 points: Jaylen Brown, Al Horford,and Marcus Morris. The Cavs lost game one 108-83.

Game two was a little different for the Cavs, as they played well early but lost it in the second half. They got out-scored 36-22 in the third quarter and lost the game. LeBron James broke out for the Cavs with a triple double 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. Kevin Love also scored 22 points. Celtics had double digit performance from several different players.

Game three, back in Cleveland, the Cavs down 2-0, was a must-win game. Cavs had control of game three early, the score at the end of the first quarter at 32-17. The Cavs just kept going and destroyed the Celtics by a score of 116-86. LeBron James was the leading scorer with 27 points and 12 assists. Kevin Love,Tristan Thompson, George Hill, J.R Smith, and Kyle Korver all scored double digits as the Cavs cut the series to 2-1.

Game four was also a must-win game for the Cavs because if they lost then they would be down 3-1, going back to Boston, where they have traditionally not played well. Cavs had control early and never looked back. The Cavs won 111-103. The Cavs were lead by LeBron James scoring 44 points and Tristan Thompson,George Hill, and Kyle Korver had scored in double digits.

For game five in Boston, the series was be tied at two. Boston took an early first quarter lead, 13 points, and the Cavs couldn’t catch up. The Cavs fell to the Cetics 83-96.  

Though LeBron was dominant for each playoff series, he really shone during game six, a must-win game with the Celtics up 3-2.  He played 46 minutes, put up 46 points, took 33 shots (making 17), nailed 5 of 7 three-pointers, and offered 11 rebounds and 9 assists.  Cavs won 109-99 to tie the series 3-3.

Finally, the Cavs finished off the Celtics in game 7, 87-79. After a cose first half, the Cavs turned it on and outscored Boston by 7 points in the third quarter and 5 points in the fourth.  LeBron played 48 minutes and impressed with 15 rebounds.

 

Up Ahead

The sports world has little confidence in the Cleveland team as they take on the Golden State Warriors for the fourth time.  Andrew Sharp from Sports Illustrated predicts the game will be “laughably one-sided” and declares “there isn’t a lot of suspense about the outcome.” He notes that with Kevin Durant, the Warriors are “a team unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”

Yet, Cleveland fans maintain hope and will be tuning in. 

Game 1= May 31, 9pm

Game 2=June 3, 8pm

Game 3=June 6, 8pm

Game 4=June 8, 9pm

Game 5=June 11, 9pm

Game 6=June 14, 9pm

Game 7=June 17, 8pm

                         

 

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Cleveland Cavaliers making playoff run