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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019

Biyombo grabs 'monster' 26 rebounds as Toronto end the Cavs' winning streak

LeBron and Cleveland beaten for the first time in 11 playoff games.

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DEMAR DEROZAN SCORED 32 points and dominating big man Bismack Biyombo grabbed 26 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-84 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals last night.

Cleveland’s 10-game playoff win streak was snapped one shy of the NBA record but the Cavs still lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 with game four to come on Monday evening in Toronto.

A Raptors team that was humbled twice at Cleveland sent a message that they were not going to be swept out like the Cavs’ prior foes.

“It says a lot about our guys’ character and resiliency,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.

“It was aggression. It was a must-win for us. We needed it,” DeRozan said. “When we play like this, good things happen.”

The series survivor will face either defending champion Golden State or Oklahoma City in next month’s NBA Finals.

DR Congo centre Biyombo matched Dwight Howard and Hakeem Olajuwon for the most rebounds in an NBA playoff game since 1984.

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“It was amazing, 26 rebounds, protecting the rim — he was big time. Without him we probably wouldn’t get this win,” DeRozan said.

Bismack did a great job grabbing rebounds and keeping them off the boards. He was a monster. He kept us going. He gave us a chance to get out in transition.

Biyombo also added seven points and four blocked shots, igniting roars from the Canadian crowd as he wagged his finger in the style of retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo after batting aside Cleveland shots.

“He gives us that confidence and energy and rim protection,” Toronto’s Kyle Lowry said.

He gets the crowd into it. We feed off that energy. There’s no substitute.

- ‘Back to drawing board’ -

The Cavaliers made only 28-of-79 from the floor, a woeful 35.4%, and hit only 14-of-41 three-point attempts while being out-rebounded 54-40 — much of those troubles stemming from Biyombo’s big night.

“Biyombo gave them a big lift. He came out and played well,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.

“He did a great job of protecting the paint, making some great rebounds and blocking shots. He just had a great game.”

LeBron James led Cleveland with 24 points while J.R. Smith added 22.

“They played an exceptional game,” James said. “We didn’t play our game and they made us pay for it.

“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board, not fix everything but a few things, and play better on Monday.”

– © AFP 2016

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