As of Tuesday afternoon, 57 percent of public bets are siding with the Cavaliers. The Sixers have won three straight without All-Star center Joel Embiid, who is recovering from surgery to fix a facial fracture and is slated to return for the playoffs.
But the Cavs had a first quarter weapon themselves.
"We're nearly healthy and if we continue to play like we've been playing both offensively and defensively, get our star point guard back in George Hill, get our star coach back in T-Lue, then we'll see what happens", he said.
It was Cleveland's second win over the Raptors in two weeks. Defensively, however, they looked all out of sorts.
Kuzma made the difference in added time, scoring a three-pointer to give the Lakers lead and adding another three before the end.
During the third quarter the Raptors found some semblance of a defense. Toronto's bench is fourth in the league in scoring (41.7 ppg). In addition to the four players that sat out in Boston's win over Toronto, Terry Rozier missed the game with an ankle injury; rookie Kadeem Allen made his first-ever start in Rozier's place. Both teams have four games remaining.
The fourth was more of the same. He passed Kobe Bryant for third place all time with his 942nd game with at least 20 points.
Eagle lands on Seattle Mariners pitcher
This is the guy, after all, who after playing his second big league game in front of over 41,000 at Busch Stadium in St. A eagle landed on Mariners pitcher James Paxton during the national anthem at a Seattle Mariners game in Minnesota.
The game should be a battle of strength against strength as the high-octane offense of Cleveland (fifth in the league with an offensive efficiency of 110.9) takes on the top-notch defense of Toronto (fifth in the National Basketball Association with a defensive efficiency of 104.4).
For good reason as well.
The Raptors really have not been playing well, especially in April, and there is a good chance they will drop another game.
Individually, the Raptors were led by their big-men. Toronto's frontcourt duo of Serge Ibaka (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Jonas Valanciunas (17 points, 10 rebounds) contributed double-doubles, but it was not enough to get past LeBron James and the Cavs. Can both teams get by the Cavaliers and 76ers? A Raptors team that scored a mere 14 first-quarter points on 6-of-23 shooting was more than happy to feast on easy transition points.
And when it's Villanova, his alma mater, hitting that winner's circle as they did Monday night with a win over MI in the NCAA title game - with Lowry courtside for the event - the effect is magnified.
Raptors 905 edged Grand Rapids in its opening-round game, and then rallied to knock off regular-season East champ Westchester in the East semifinals.
The Cleveland Cavaliers (47-30) have won eight of their last nine games including a 98-87 win over the Dallas Mavericks in which LeBron James scored 16 points in 5 of 21 shooting from the field and 4 of 4 from the free throw line. Yet, it still is just one game in a series Toronto still outscored Cleveland by 25 on the year.
"Ultimately that's how you will be judged, is team success, so I love that Kyle and DeMar not only embraced, but sort of were able to execute what Dwane (Casey) and the staff were trying to put in".