Kevin Love (knee) said he hurt his knee stepping on an official's foot at the end of the third quarter on Monday.
Coach Ty Lue said he thought it wasn't fair to put Love back in the game, so that's two straight fourth quarters without any Love. Lue added Love not playing in the fourth didn't have to do with his injury. The former All-Star should still be in the starting lineup and heading back home figures to help, too. Many were concerned about Love's inconsistent play and now it's coming to fruition. As long as he can make shots, he'll get time.
Dante Exum (knee) has been cleared for contact on Thursday.
This is a big step for Exum, who tore his ACL back in August. Exum was growing as a defender during his rookie season and even showed some offensive improvement in Summer League. He's probably not going to play for Australia in the Olympics, but it's possible. He'll have more value in reality than in fantasy next year.
Kyle Lowry was outstanding during a 105-99 win over the Cavs in Game 4 on Monday, scoring 35 points with five rebounds, five assists, three steals and four 3-pointers.
He was on fire early with 16 points on 100.0 effective field goal percentage to kick this game off. Lowry and DeMar DeRozan scored a combined 67 points in their best combined scoring effort this postseason. To nobody's surprise, Raptors continue to go as Lowry goes in the postseason. During wins, he has a 56.9 true shooting percentage and a 2.5 assist:turnover ratio. In the losses, those numbers are 38.9 and 1.6, respectively. The Cavs should be doing all they can to stop Lowry.
Bismack Biyombo was terrific yet again during a win over the Cavs on Monday, finishing with five points, 14 rebounds, one assist and three blocks in 42 minutes.
His motor was out of control with some very good perimeter defense while he was still able to grab 11 defensive rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) didn't play in this game, but he might have a better chance on Wednesday. If the Raptors can continue to use him like this, Biyombo might be too valuable to lose any minutes to JV. Biyombo has made himself some serious money in the past two games.
DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points for the second straight win over the Cavs on Monday, adding three rebounds, three assists, one steal and two turnovers in 40 minutes.
A big story for the Raptors was their free throw shooting. They became the first Conference Finals team since 2001 to not have a free throw in the first half with a 15-plus point lead, but then they went to the line 19 times in the second half as a team. As for DeRozan, he continues to thrive on contested shots and even fared better against LeBron James as the game went on -- he scored 12 in the fourth quarter on 5-of-6 from the field. We'll see how he handles playing in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Jonas Valanciunas did not play in Game 4 on Monday.
The Raptors got off to a fantastic start to keep Valanciunas on the bench. Plus, the Cavs went with a lot of space on their offense, which would've made it really hard to use JV on defense. He'll have a couple days off before Game 5 on Wednesday.
LeBron James couldn't carry his team to victory during a 105-99 loss to the Raptors in Game 4 on Monday, scoring 29 points with nine rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 46 minutes.
It looked like the Cavs were going to pull off a huge comeback with 11 consecutive makes in the fourth quarter. James' fourth quarter numbers alone were eight points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal, but he didn't score in the final five minutes. James' 46 minutes tonight were his most of these playoffs, but the Cavs were smoked in the two minutes without him with a minus-60.0 net rating. The fourth quarter was the story with the Cavs with LeBron playing the entire fourth while none of the other starters played more than 6.3 minutes. After destroying the Raptors in the Game 1 and 2, this series is all tied up at two.
J.R. Smith scored nine points with two rebounds, one assist, one turnover and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes on Monday.
He only played two minutes in the fourth quarter. Coach Ty Lue is going with more of a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately approach, which may have cost Smith some run. He should play more back in Cleveland on Wednesday.