NBA

Kyle Lowry.

Kyle Lowry clarifies his comment about Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James

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The Toronto Raptors were no match for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they were defeated 115-84 at the Quicken Loans Arena in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals. 

LeBron James had an impressive evening as he went 11-of-13 from the field for his 24 points. The King shot 84.6 percent - the highest he's ever shot in the playoffs.

James has been in "playoff mode" throughout this postseason as the Cavs remain undefeated through their first nine games. 

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The four-time MVP rarely needs any extra motivation as he usually saves his best for the biggest stage, but there may have been a reason for him to have a little extra spring in his step against the Raptors. 

After the Canadian outfit had beaten the Miami Heat in game seven of their semi-finals series, point guard Kyle Lowry was asked if he was looking forward to the matchup with LeBron and the Cavaliers.

"LeBron is probably one of the best players in the league besides Stephen (Curry)," Lowry told ESPN's Doris Burke post-game.

Toronto Raptors v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One

What was presumably a meaningless comment by Lowry was construed as him taking a shot at LeBron prior to their encounter and was reported as such in some quarters. 

James himself was asked about Lowry's remark prior to game one and if he had taken any offence to it, to which he replied: "None taken."

Ahead of the first meeting between the two teams on Tuesday, Lowry himself quashed the notion that he was taking a swipe at James.

Toronto Raptors v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One

"I would never throw [any] shade on one of the greatest players in history of basketball," Lowry said. "I would never do that. Some people will take it for too much. LeBron is LeBron James. He'll probably be [one of the] top three players of all time when he retires."

Struggles

While Cleveland's no.23 had himself a good night - sitting out the fourth quarter as a result of a commanding lead - Lowry had a night to forget. 

After getting back to the form that made him an All-Star in the regular season late in the series with the Miami Heat - he was coming off the back of 36 and 35 point games - the 30-year-old struggled to get anything going in Cleveland. 

Toronto Raptors v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One

He shot 4-of-14 from the floor and 0-of-8 from beyond the arc for just eight points on the night. The Raptors will certainly need better production from one of their stars if they are to stand a chance of upsetting the Cavs.

Lowry didn't have much luck on the defensive end either as he was dominated by Kyrie Irving who ended with a game-high 27 points on an efficient 11-of-17 shooting.  

The wine and gold are the overwhelming favourites to advance to the NBA finals for the second straight year and proved why in this encounter. If the Raptors are to make it competitive, they can't afford for Lowry to return to his shooting slump.  

Topics:
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Kyle Lowry

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