Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Kyle Lowry opts out of final year of contract with Raptors

Kyle Lowry opts out of final year of contract with Raptors

Toronto was swept in the second round after the Cavs beat the Raptors 109-102 to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Listen, DeMar DeRozan was being sarcastic when he said, "If we had LeBron on our team, we would have won", but his implied assessment of LeBron James - he of six straight NBA Finals appearances and counting - and his impact on this series was not wrong.

"He's just been on another level", injured Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said.

That was until a 22-year-old James came waltzing into the Palace of Auburn Hills and put on the performance of a lifetime, scoring 29 out of the Cavs last 30 points en route to a key victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. It's going to be my ninth time in 14 years.

They're the first team to win eight games in a row over consecutive post-season runs.

Kyrie Irving added 27 points for the Cavaliers, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and had nine assists.

The Raptors have firmly hit a ceiling, and given the age of their core group - and impending free agents - no easy answers lie ahead to the question of where they go from here.

Lowry led the Raptors past Milwaukee in the opening round of the playoffs and was Toronto's best player in Games 1 and 2 against Cleveland.

The Wizards outscored Boston 42-20 in the third with Wall, Beal and Markieff Morris combining for 34 points in the period.

"Yeah, for sure. I've done a lot of starting throughout my career, even in San Antonio", Joseph said.

One month ago, after back-to-back losses to Atlanta that crippled Cleveland's grip on the Eastern Conference's top seed, we were asking "what's wrong with the Cavaliers?" for what seemed like the umpteenth time since the season began.

'We're capable of those type of runs every game, ' said Morris, who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. "We understand how important it is, especially to come in and get a win and get rest".

The Toronto Raptors point guard will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent, and a lucrative deal beckons.

In the 2016 playoffs, they swept the Detroit Pistons in the first round and the Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He was in uniform for Game 3 but did not play and was scratched from Game 4. At a point, we looked wide-eyed.

Irving responded with a three and, following a missed shot by DeRozan, added a pair of free throws to put Cleveland up 97-92 at 5:54.

"We needed that spark", James said. I want to just get better, I want to have fun, I want to win a ring.

Through the first two rounds of the playoffs, LeBron and his Merry Cavs are 8-0 and have already proved the doubters wrong who felt they wouldn't be able to "flip the switch" this postseason. In addition to the three-pointers, Korver added two jumpers inside the three-point arc.

D'Antoni guided the Rockets to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and third-best record in the National Basketball Association at 55-27, and his team broke the league's regular-season record with 1,181 3-pointers. He aggravated the injury while trying to warm up for Friday's Game 3.

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