Cleveland Cavaliers: Kevin Love Bounces Back In A Big Way In Game 5

 

After being un-impactful performance in Toronto, Kevin Love returned to form in Game 5 to power the Cleveland Cavaliers to victory and a 3-2 series lead

The Cleveland Cavaliers came back to Quicken Loans Arena like a team on a mission, blowing out the Toronto Raptors by 38 points in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

A huge factor was a resurgent Kevin Love. In Games 3 and 4 in Toronto, Love was virtually absent in the losses. After seemingly injuring his knee in Game 4, there was worry that his effectiveness would be hampered for the remained of the postseason.

He erased any such chatter early on, hitting 8-10 shots including 3-4 from three-point range. He was also a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line en route to his 25-point night in a quick 24 minutes.

The defense of the Cavaliers was well executed against the Raptors stars, with both DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry failing to reach15 points each.

Toronto hero Bismack Biyombo also became a none factor, chipping in just seven points and four rebounds.

Offensively, in addition to Love’s 25 points, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving finished the night with 23 points each.

A large factor was Cleveland’s efficiency on the boards as the Cavs out-rebounded the Raptors 48-27.

The Cavs also out-shot their opponents from three-point range, hitting 10 of 21 while Toronto made only three the entire night.

Both teams have now won all of their games at home in the series. If that trend continues to hold true, we could see a Game 7 in Cleveland this weekend. First things first, Game 6.

For the Raptors, they now face elimination in what is expected to be the most electric game yet to be played in Toronto’s Air Canada Center. Despite being written off after losing the first two games, by myself included, the squad is far from finished.

While inconsistent, the Raptors have emerged victorious in two Game 7s already this postseason. As the first time that the squad has made it to the Conference Finals, the Raptors have been the Cinderella story of the playoffs.

Cleveland, on the other hand, is on the brink of their first back-to-back Finals appearance. It would be the sixth consecutive trip for LeBron James.

There is little doubt that the Cavs are favored to eliminate the Raptors after their near comeback in Game 4. But, the team will have to play with the same level of intensity to avoid letting the Raptors battle back at home.

It should be noted, the Oklahoma City Thunder are ahead 3-1 against the Golden State Warriors. Should the Thunder come out victorious in Game 5, they will have a week of rest before the Finals begin on June 2.

Should the Cavaliers and Raptors go to seven games, the winner will only have four days to rest and prepare.

For a series that was expected to be a blowout, Game 6 suddenly can’t come soon enough.