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Cavaliers throttle Raptors, grab 3-2 series lead

Cavaliers Push Raptors to the Brink

(The Sports Xchange) - LeBron James had 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and Kevin Love returned to form with 25 points as the Cavaliers dismantled the Toronto Raptors in a 116-78 win on Wednesday that gives Cleveland a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points in the Cavaliers' most lopsided playoff win in franchise history -- surpassing their 31-point victory at home in Game One of this series.

The Cavs have outscored the Raptors by 88 points in their three home games. Cleveland can close out Toronto and return to the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year with a win on Friday in Game Six at Air Canada Centre.

The game was effectively over after the first quarter, when the Cavs' 37 points were the most they've scored in any quarter in this series.

The Raptors trailed by 18 after one period, and they did not surpass 37 points until the first two minutes of the third quarter.

Toronto didn't surpass the Cleveland Big Three's total of 71 points until the game's last few minutes -- and all three stars sat the entire fourth quarter.

BEST PHOTOS FROM THE NBA PLAYOFFS:

18 PHOTOS
Best of the 2016 NBA playoffs
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Cavaliers throttle Raptors, grab 3-2 series lead
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 22: Jonas Jerebko #8 of the Boston Celtics and Evan Turner #11 react after a foul was called against Turner during the fourth quarter of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden on April 22, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Hawks 111-103. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after being hit in the face by teammate Tristan Thompson #13 during the first half against the Toronto Raptors in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 21, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 11: DeMarre Carroll #5 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball and is fouled by Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat in the first half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 11, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers scores on a dunk in a 108-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 11: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point basket in the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 29: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates during the 101-83 win over the Toronto Raptors in game six of the 2016 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 29, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 26: Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks battles under the basket against Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: Norman Powell #24 of the Toronto Raptors dunks the ball late in the second half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on April 26, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 23: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives to the basket on DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter of Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center on April 23, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers won the game 96-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 18: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets is guarded by Draymond Green #23, Andrew Bogut #12 and Leandro Barbosa #19 of the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 18, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 16: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers goes up to shoot against Patrick Patterson #54 of the Toronto Raptors in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 17:Boris Diaw #33 of the San Antonio Spurs battles JaMychal Green #0 of the Memphis Grizzlies for a rebound in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 17, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 28: Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics reacts after receiving his 6th personal foul against the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter of Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 28, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Hawks defeat the Celtics 104-92. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 02: Andre Iguodala #9 of the Golden State Warriors goes up to dunk the ball against J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first half in Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 2, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: LeBron James #23 and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Raptors' 65-34 halftime deficit was the first time in franchise history they trailed by at least 30 points in any game, regular season or post-season.

Kyle Lowry had 13 points and six assists, and DeMar DeRozan scored 14 points for the Raptors after they totaled 67 points in Toronto's Game Four win at home. The backcourt partners shot a combined 7-for-20 in Game Five.

Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas appeared for the first time in this series after battling a sprained ankle, and he scored nine points in 19 minutes.

Bismack Biyombo had seven points and four rebounds after dominating the paint during the Raptors' two wins in Toronto.

This time, however, the Cavs displayed the type of dominance they flashed in winning 10 straight to open the post-season.

The biggest key to the turnaround was Love, who struggled miserably during the two losses at Toronto and compounded matters by twisting his knee during the third quarter of Game Four.

Love made his first six shots on Wednesday and finished 8-for-10 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from the 3-point arc.

He shot 5-for-23 during the two losses at Toronto.

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