Lowry was a game-time decision before Game 3 on Friday, and he was officially ruled active prior to tipoff. "So for us not to have him anything close to 100 per cent, it would be hard on us", DeRozan said.
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But on a night that Kyle Lowry spent on the bench nursing a sprained ankle, DeRozan's best wasn't good enough. The Cavaliers led by 12 after the first in Games 1 and 2.
After getting drubbed in the first two games of the series, Toronto finally put up something of a fight Friday, but it wilted late in a 115-94 loss that has Cleveland heading to the broom closet anticipating a sweep. Cleveland's defence was tremendous to start the fourth quarter, when the massive mistake was made of sitting DeRozan, Cory Joseph and the surging Jonas Valanciunas at the same time.
Already a bit behind the curve after missing a month following the All-Star break then stung by a bad back, Lowry's contribution - or lack thereof - will go a long way in determining Toronto's Game 3 productivity.
James's hijinks were the topic of an ESPN basketball panel, which compiled a montage of similar LeBron incidents, including a game this season in NY where the Cavs star appeared so bored he was playing the "water-bottle challenge" while on the bench.
"I told them this morning, it's about the 15 men in this room", Casey said. "It was done. I don't believe in that". But I love playing out on the road more than I love playing at home.
"We couldn't get anything to fall for us and they turned it on offensively and ran away with it", said DeRozan. "Honestly, today we were not giving up but they were better than us".
"I'm probably doubtful, honestly", Lowry said, according to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst.
Given the lopsided of nature of this series heading into play Friday, the Raptors were already running out of options.
Lowry was injured Wednesday when teammate Norman Powell fell on him, Powell pushed down by the Cavs' Tristan Thompson, 27 seconds into the second half of the Cavs' 125-103 victory at Quicken Loans Arena. "But I am still confident with us going home".
After being held to a playoff career-low five points Wednesday, DeRozan scored 37 points.
"I was just basically in my zone, in my comfort zone and after I spun the ball and I jabbed him, I (saw) what I needed to see from the defender to be able to get that shot off", James said.
LeBron provided all the insight future opponents need in going up against him going into the series. It's not looking great, but I'm not giving up on it.
"They're into him, they're bodying him", Casey said. He's a specialist. No matter the time or the score, he's always willing to make and take those big shots.
"The word 'dominant, ' that play [where James spun the ball], coming off and having a beer on the sideline, all those things should get you upset to make it a physical contest". "We've been in this situation before, and again, it's not going to be easy".
The Rockets' three-man bench of Eric Gordon, Nene and Lou Williams combined for 10 points on 3-of-19 shooting.
He moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar into second place on the all-time playoff scoring list.
"Throughout playoffs or period", James said.