NBA

Kyle Lowry.

The Toronto Raptors level the series with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the east

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The Cleveland Cavaliers had let their advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals slip after coming up empty handed from two trips to the Air Canada Centre.

The Toronto Raptors secured a 99-105 victory to level the series at 2-2 and after their opponents had enjoyed two clean sweeps in the rounds prior to this, it appears as though the seven-game specialists are dragging them to another thriller.

The Canadian franchise's backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have had an up and down postseason, but they exploded in game four of this series to drop a combined 67 points.

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Bismack Biyombo played his part in proceedings too, and the 23-year-old pivot followed up his 26 rebounds from game three with 14 more. He also contributed three blocks including a vital play to prevent the Cavaliers getting a shot off with just one minute on the clock in the final quarter while it was a one possession ball game.

Despite LeBron James' comments to the contrary, the Cavaliers were three-point happy during the first half of this vital encounter and only made 3-23 by half-time. They finished 13-41 overall with Kevin Love 2-7 from three-point range and J.R Smith was guilty of being wasteful as he managed just 3-11 from beyond the arc.

King James still tallied up 29 points and nine rebounds as his super postseason form continued. Kyrie Irving dropped 26 points to help the cause but Love could only manage 10 points for his part.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors - Game Four

The game was extremely tight heading into the final minute of play in the fourth quarter with the leading changing hands every play. However, Biyombo's majestic bit of defending swung things in the Raptors' favour and when Lowry raced the floor to drop in a layup, Toronto never looked back.

In truth, the Cavaliers never had a solid grip on this game. Their biggest lead over the course of the game was three points whereas the Raptors held a commanding 18 point gap at one stage.

The home side found 44 of their points in the Cavaliers paint and Biyombo continues to be a difference maker in this series following the injury to regular center Jonas Valancuinas in the previous round with the Miami Heat.

The Cavaliers can't live with the Congo big man and his opposite number, Tristan Thompson, only managed two points during this affair.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors - Game Four

Cleveland head coach Tyronne Lue summarised where his side went wrong down the stretch and they'll need to show better game management if they want to set up a date with the Western Conference champions in the Finals, whoever they may be.

"We had a few defensive breakdowns that you can't have down the stretch of a game, especially in the playoffs," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "They executed every time we made a mistake."

Game five takes place at the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday and the Cavaliers will be hoping the success they enjoyed on home earlier on in the series will continue.

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

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