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Toronto edges Cavs to knot series, 2-2

Frank Gunn/AP
By Julian Reyes

TORONTO--In the eve of the Victoria Day celebration in the Great White North, the Toronto Raptors came up victorious in a close, heart-stopping game.

Kyle Lowry finished with 35 points, 15 in the second frame, while DeMar DeRozan added 32 to help the Raptors scored a 105-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to tie the Eastern Conference Finals to 2-2 at Air Canada Centre, Tuesday (Philippine Time).

Bismack Biyombo, who hauled a playoff-high 26 rebounds in the previous game, proved to be a big force for the Toronto anew as he tallied five points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.

The Raptors displayed their resiliency and composure in the fourth quarter, despite losing an early 16-point lead, to spoil Cleveland’s comeback and take the victory.

Toronto was outscored in the entire second half but came up to deliver the biggest shots and biggest stops in the dying minutes of the final canto to survive Cavaliers late-game scare.

DeRozan and Lowry combined for 21 of Toronto’s 27-point output in the fourth quarter to weather LeBron James and Kyrie Irving’s explosion for Cleveland.

James and Irving tallied 29 and 26 points respectively and dished out a combined 12 assists to spearhead the last year’s NBA finals runner-up.

The Cavaliers hosts Toronto on the Game 5 on Thursday (Philippine Time) at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Raptors lost the lead in the eight-minute mark of the fourth quarter after a quick 15-5 Cleveland run in the first four minutes capped by a James layup.

Cavaliers remained on lead until the game’s final five-minute mark when Toronto suddenly ignited a one last blast.

Down 94-96, DeRozan took the matters into his hands, converting a pull-up jumper to tie the scores and hitting two freebies off a Channing Frye’s foul to give the Raptors the lead, 98-96.

The run did not end there as the Raptors remained aggressive on both ends of the floor, connecting three free throws from three different players and allowing the Cavaliers to make only one of their nine shots since the 4:37 mark.

Toronto sealed the deal after DeRozan hit a floater, Biyombo rejected JR Smith’s 3-point attempt, and Lowry banked the game-clinching layup, all inside the game’s final minute.

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