National Basketball Association
Preview
Toronto at Cleveland
When: 8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Cavaliers are suddenly locked in a fierce battle in the Eastern Conference finals after once being in position to roll over the Toronto Raptors. Two victories by Toronto changed the complexion of the now-tied series, and it is a best-of-three competition when the series returns to Cleveland for Wednesday's Game 5.

The Raptors lost the first two games in Cleveland by an average of 25 points but they ignored the opinions of people saying they would be swept to post two impressive victories. "We've been playing with our backs against the wall," Toronto shooting guard DeMar DeRozan said at a press conference after scoring 32 points in Monday's 105-99 victory. "We never cared what anybody else thought. It was a challenge for us every single day. We've been counted out and we like that challenge." Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue didn't play ineffective power forward Kevin Love in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive contest but pinpointed his team's mistakes as the biggest factor in the Game 4 loss. "We came up short," Lue said in his postgame press conference. "We had a few defensive breakdowns that you can't have down the stretch of a game, especially in the playoffs, and they executed every time we made a mistake."

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

ABOUT THE RAPTORS: Getting a combined 67 points on 28-of-43 shooting from point guard Kyle Lowry (35) and DeRozan was huge for Toronto as the two All-Stars have both experienced some struggles in the postseason. "One thing about us, we can take the bad with the good any day," DeRozan said. "It's life, man. You can't get too down when things are not going your way, but you understand the work that you put in all summer, all throughout the season, for moments like this. You've got to be ready." The Raptors expect center Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) to be ready for the first time in the series to team up with defensive dynamo Bismack Biyombo, who has averaged 20 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots over the past two games.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: Love, who tweaked his knee in the second half, averaged just 6.5 points on 5-of-23 shooting in the two games in Toronto and has no explanation for his poor play. "I had a lot of great shots, I just didn't knock them down," Love told reporters. "It's as simple as that. I had a lot of confidence in shooting the ball, a lot of really wide open 3's, especially to start that first quarter. A number of them went in and out so I just need to continue to stay aggressive." Point guard Kyrie Irving bounced back with 26 points and suffering through a 3-of-19 shooting performance in Game 3 when he scored a series-low 13 points.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Cavaliers SF LeBron James scored a postseason-best 29 points in Game 4 and has tallied 20 or more points in each of Cleveland's 12 playoff games.

2. The Raptors are 2-6 on the road in the postseason.

3. Backup Cleveland PF Channing Frye is 11-of-19 from 3-point range in the series.

PREDICTION: Cavaliers 111, Raptors 104
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Toronto 66-34 W2 40-11 25-23 5-4 61-30 14-2 49-21
Cleveland 67-27 L2 39-8 28-19 7-2 60-25 12-8 45-19
Last Meeting
Toronto Cleveland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
5/23/16 CLE 99 TOR 105 105 35 53.8 99 38 47.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Toronto K. Lowry 35 70.0 3
Cleveland L. James 29 68.8 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Toronto B. Biyombo 14 3 11
Cleveland L. James 9 4 5
Assists Player  
Toronto K. Lowry 5
Cleveland K. Irving 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Toronto D. DeRozan 2271 43.0 666
Cleveland L. James 2230 51.9 406
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Toronto B. Biyombo 881 251 630
Cleveland K. Love 890 177 713
Assists Player  
Toronto K. Lowry 629
Cleveland L. James 606
Quickchart Matchup
Toronto Off vs  Cleveland Defense
101.3 Points For
98.1 Points Against
44.6 FG%
44.9 FG%
43.1 Reb
40.7 Reb
Cleveland Off vs  Toronto Defense
104.5 Points For
97.8 Points Against
46.1 FG%
44.5 FG%
40.7 Reb
40.8 Reb