Basketball

Unstoppable LeBron

Cavaliers star surpasses Abdul-Jabbar to trail Jordan in the all-time leading scorer's chart for post-season

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINALS, GAME TWO
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS TORONTO RAPTORS
125 103

Does anyone have any spare change? DeMar DeRozan will take it to pay someone to stop LeBron James.

And it's time to pay up.

James scorched Toronto for 39 points and became the NBA's second all-time leading scorer in the post-season in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 125-103 victory over the Raptors yesterday morning (Singapore time) in Game Two of their Eastern Conference semi-final.

The Cavaliers own a commanding 2-0 lead in this series with Game 3 in Toronto tomorrow morning.

"You find somebody to stop LeBron in these moments, I'll give you $100," DeRozan said.

James destroyed the Raptors, shooting 10-of-14 from the field, 15-of-21 from the foul line and 4-of-6 from three-point range in 37 minutes.

In six games this post-season - all wins for the Cavs - James is averaging 34.2 points on 56.6 per cent shooting.

He scored 17 points in the third quarter, after which the Cavs led 99-73.

"I don't know, I'm just, I'm feeling pretty good," James said.

"My teammates do a great job of putting me in position, my coaching staff do a great job of putting me in position to be successful.

"And, I put a lot of work into my craft and I live with the results. Just blessed I'm able to make a few plays tonight to help us win another game."

James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762 points) for second place on a three-pointer in the third quarter, with the rout in this lopsided series already underway.

Michael Jordan is first with 5,987 play-off points.

NBA HISTORY

James also became the fourth player (after Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Manu Ginobili) in NBA history to make 300 playoff three-pointers.

And he has 89 play-off games with at least 30 points, which moved him past Kobe Bryant. Only Jordan (109) has more.

"You hear a name like Kareem, a guy who's done so many great things, not only as an individual but as a teammate, winning championships in the 80s and things of that nature and how many points he's put up - he's somebody you read about," James said.

"It was always my dream as a kid to be a part of this league and, once I have seen that gift mentors around me that was going to allow my gift to flourish, I didn't take it for granted.

"I still don't. Even at 32."

Kyrie Irving added 22 points and 11 assists for the Cavs, who have never lost a play-off series (13-0) in which they won the first two games.

The Raptors were led by Jonas Valanciunas' 23 points. Raptors coach Dwane Casey shifted Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll to the bench and started Patrick Patterson and Norman Powell, looking for a spark that didn't come.

All-Star guard Kyle Lowry scored 20 points, but injured his left ankle with 11:33 left in the third quarter and was out of the game for good by the fourth.

DeRozan, the Raptors' leading scorer this season, was limited to just five points on 2-of-11 shooting.

"It sucks. To lose like we did. To play like I did. It sucks," DeRozan said. "It's frustrating. Now I just have the added time having to wait till Friday night to redeem myself."

If there's a silver lining for Toronto, it's this: the Eastern Conference Finals between these teams last season also started with two lopsided Cavs wins, and the Raptors returned home to win Games Three and Four. - REUTERS

OTHER RESULT

WESTERN CONFERENCE 
SEMI-FINAL, GAME TWO

  • San Antonio Spurs 121 Houston Rockets 96 (Series tied at 1-1)
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