LeBron scores 27 as Cavs down East-leading Raptors again 112-106

Giannis Antetokounmpo

And this week is a measuring-stick week, with players coming back from injury and games against playoff teams with seeding on the line. The two teams played an even third quarter, and the Raptors trailed by eight heading into the fourth. Currently, the Raptors are on top with a two-game advantage over Boston while the Cavaliers are sitting No. 3 with a half game advantage over Philadelphia and a game over Indiana.

For the majority of the season, the sentiment among Toronto Raptors fans has been that their team deserves more respect. Wednesday's showdown with the Boston Celtics just got a lot more interesting.

At the other end, Kyle Lowry bounced back nicely from his rotten performance the night prior, scoring 13 points, while DeMar DeRozan did what DeMar DeRozan does, shooting plenty and finishing with 16. They have been fantastic once again this season. And they're now overwhelming favourites to win the big race to the top of the Eastern Conference. If they hadn't, their rate would be up to win games. He also dished out four assists against just one turnover, finishing with a team-high plus/minus (+27).Sometimes those individual plus/minus numbers can deceive. It's a tough back-to-back, one that could mean a tie atop the East if it goes poorly for the Raptors. It's why the thought of landing Isaiah Thomas in the Kyrie Irving deal made sense: trade one aggressive scorer for another, plus parts.

The three-time National Basketball Association champion went on to pass yet another record in the process as his points tally saw him overtake Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant to second on the list of most 20-point games with 942.

It will not have the significance of a playoff game but could have an influence on the postseason. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are having huge seasons for Boston.

Cleveland ranks 15th in second chance points allowed per game (12.7) while Toronto ranks 25th (13.3).

Celtics turnovers: Boston's sloppy ball-handling at times would prove to be one of the issues that they simply struggled with rectifying on Wednesday.

Boston's starters combined for 35 points, 16 of them from Horford. Each of them was defensible, given game situation, the matchup problems created by Boston's length on the wing and the need to break the zone, but Casey couldn't have been happy to abandon his typically rigid rotation in the crucial moments of an important game.

Love looked closer to normal in his second game back after being knocked to the deck by an elbow from Heat center Jordan Mickey last Tuesday.

The Raptors won despite shooting just 43.5 percent (40 of 92) for the game.

"We've just gotta keep working".

Austin hosts South Bay on Thursday in the Western Conference finals, while Raptors 905 visits Erie on Friday to determine the East victor.

"We got four guys you know from our championship team, myself, J.R. (Smith), Tristan (Thompson) and Kev (Love)". Those are all questions for the future. They have also won 10 of the past 12 meetings straight up in the series, including the playoffs, going an impressive 8-3-1 against the spread in those games, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

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