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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019

LeBron not claiming 'mental edge' over Raptors despite stunning game two display

LeBron James is again closing in on eliminating the Toronto Raptors but would not comment on claims he has a mental edge over them.

LeBron James goes up for a shot against the Toronto Raptors
LeBron James goes up for a shot against the Toronto Raptors

HE IS JUST two games from eliminating them from the playoffs for a third successive season, but LeBron James would not say whether he has a mental edge over the Toronto Raptors, despite producing a stunning performance that powered the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 2-0 series lead.

The Cavaliers took command of the second-round series with a 128-110 victory over the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre last night, James delivering an epic display to leave top-seeded Toronto facing an uphill battle to keep their NBA title hopes alive.

James racked up 43 points, 27 of them in the second half, 14 assists and eight rebounds, while receiving more than able assistance from Kevin Love, who went for 31 points and 11 assists.

After winning two games on the road, Cleveland will now be favoured to close out the series at home, creating more unwanted deja vu for a Raptors team haunted by James in recent years.

He led the Cavaliers to a 4-2 series win over the Raptors in the 2016 Eastern Conference finals as Cleveland went on to win their first championship, with Toronto then swept by the same opposition in the second round last campaign.

But, asked about talk of a mental edge, James said: “I don’t know. You guys can have that narrative on how you guys feel about that mental edge or whatever the case may be.

“But for me personally, my mental edge is how I prepare myself every night, how I go about the game plan, try to not make mistakes. And if I do make mistakes, making sure I don’t do it again to compound that mistake.

“You’ve got to win four games to get out of a series and it starts with the next game, so I will be as sharp as I was tonight [in the rest of the series].

“We’re not satisfied. We came up and played some good basketball up here but we look forward to even more of a challenge come whenever we play.”

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