NBA

DeMar DeRozan.

DeMar DeRozan was refused access to the Air Canada Centre by a security guard

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The Toronto Raptors have not had the best of times in their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, they enjoyed some home comforts in game three as they condemned LeBron James and his teammates to their first loss in the playoffs. 

The series is finely balanced at 2-1 to Cleveland with game four at the Air Canada Centre fast approaching. However, it seems not everybody in the Canadian city has caught the playoff bug. 

A security guard at the arena was left a little embarrassed when he refused DeMar DeRozan entry as the shooting guard arrived for an interview with ESPN's Doris Burke.

Yes, the same DeRozan who was named an All-Star in 2016, led the franchise in points per game during the regular season, is the longest serving player currently with the organisation and the second highest-scoring Raptor in history. 

Burke called for back-up to help prove the man in question was, in fact, the same guy who had dropped 32 points on Cleveland just days earlier to ensure Toronto kept their faint hopes alive. 

The confusion was finally cleared up and the shooting guard was allowed access, as was made clear by Chris Haynes, the Cavs beat reporter for Cleveland.com. 

INFLUENCE

Like every member of the Toronto roster, DeMar struggled to live with the Cavaliers during the opening two encounters of the Conference Finals. 

The Raptors were blown away at the Quicken Loans Arena but clawed their way back into the series with a win at the ACC. His 50 percent from the field and 8-9 from the charity stripe were a sign of a player confident in his own abilities despite the perilous position his team was in. 

The franchise from north of the border will need more of the same from the 26-year-old if they are to level the series heading back to the United States. Anything less than a win in game four will surely see the Cavs advance in five. 

However, the Raptors need to pick up a win on the road if they are to stand any chance of overcoming their opponents. On the basis of the opening two games, it seems very unlikely. 

The displays of Bismack Biyombo will also be vital in deciding how long the team from the Six remain in the playoffs. The center, who has come to the fore following an injury to Jonas Valanciunas, produced a record-breaking night on the glass on Friday.

He pulled down a franchise-record 26 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end as he dominated in the paint. The former Charlotte Hornets man is relentless on the boards and his fire can drive the Raptors on to extend the series.

Topics:
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
DeMar DeRozan
Kyle Lowry

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