The Toronto Raptors lost Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers by a score of 113-87. With that, the Cavaliers win the series 4-2 and move on to their second consecutive NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the Raptors are officially eliminated from the playoffs after 20 (mostly) hard-fought games.
What actually happened in this one is more or less irrelevant at this point, since now there are no more adjustments to talk about or things to take away for the next contest.
Most Raptors fans have already begun eulogizing the best season and playoff run in franchise history, so it's unlikely that many people are interested in knowing things about the rebounding differential or who won the battle of points in the paint in this game.
Still, we would be remiss if we didn't at least close out an amazing postseason run of breakdowns with one last quick one for old time's sake.
Let's keep it light and simple.
One last time for the All-Star duo (or is it?)
All-NBA point guard Kyle Lowry had quite the sendoff in this one, scoring 35 points on 11-for-22 shooting, including 6-for-12 from long range and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line.
He added three rebounds, three assists, and a block, and almost single-handedly dragged the Raptors back into this one in the third quarter, when he scored 18 of his 35 points (including the Raptors' last 15 of the frame), while shooting 5-for-7 from the field and 4-for-6 from three.
Meanwhile, DeMar DeRozan had a perfectly acceptable 9-for-18 shooting night for 20 points, while tossing in three rebounds and three assists.
A lot of question marks popped up about DeMar this postseason, as he goes into a summer of free agency seeking a max contract. While the series against the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat brought into question DeRozan's worth, he managed to average a cool 23.0 points versus Cleveland with an efficienct split of 50.0% shooting from the field and 90.9% from the line (shooting 50.0% or higher in four of the six games).
It was a good ending to what once looked like it might be a money-hemorrhaging playoff run for DeMar.
And with that, Toronto's All-Star backcourt may have played it's last game together (although probably not). They got next to nothing from their supporting cast -- not a single other Raptor scored in double figures besides Kyle and DeMar -- but at least the stars went out with a bang.
The problem was that the other team had 50% more star players.
The "Big Three" was too big
LeBron James flipped that playoff switch that we all feared he might in an elimination game, putting up a monster line of 33 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, a steal, and three blocks, while shooting 13-for-22 (59.1%) from the field and 3-for-6 from deep.
Kyrie Irving dropped 30 points of his own on 12-for-24 shooting from the field and 2-for-4 from three, while adding four rebounds, nine assists, three steals, and a block. Kevin Love put up a monster 20-point, 12-rebound performance, while shooting 5-for-11 from the field and 4-for-8 from three.
J.R. Smith was the only other Cavalier to score over 6 points (he had 15), so this ended up being almost exclusively a "Big Three" featurette. To wit, the trio almost outscored the Raptors by themselves, putting up a combined 83 points to Toronto's 87 total.
How did the Cavs beat the Raps, let us count the ways...
The Cavaliers dominated this game, plain and simple.
They shot 54.1% from the field and 17-for-31 from three-point range (54.8%). They won the rebounding battle 38-33 and had a 36-34 edge in points in the paint. They had 22 assists on 40 field goals (55.0%) for the game, compared to the Raptors' 10 assists on 33 made baskets (30.3%).
Cleveland also had a 17-5 advantage in fastbreak points and a 12-8 edge in second chance points.
There basically wasn't a section of the box score where Cleveland didn't look like the better team.
Nothing more to see here.
This was the 20th edition of this statistical breakdown column this postseason, compared to the mere four volumes that came out last year. It wasn't the most positive game to go out on, but we certainly had our share of those along the way.
It was one hell of a ride, dear reader. Have a great offseason.