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As Kevin Love bounces back, teammate disputes his fall-guy label for Cavaliers' two losses

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 26, 2016

CLEVELAND: Richard Jefferson didn’t like what he was hearing. He didn’t want Kevin Love to be the “fall guy” for the Cavaliers’ two losses in Toronto.

So after Love busted out of a 5 for 23 shooting slump Wednesday night with 25 points in 24 minutes of their 116-78 victory over the Raptors in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, Jefferson criticized the media for focusing on Love instead of the team’s shortcomings.

“He doesn’t have anything to make up for. No disrespect to anybody here, but that all a bunch of media B.S., if you ask me,” Jefferson said in the hallway at Quicken Loans Arena. “The guy had a bad game. We’d won 10 straight. He can have a bad game. Was he the only one who didn’t shoot the ball well? No. Was he the only person that might have struggled a little bit defensively? It looked like Kyle Lowry had 30-something points.

“As a group it was never him, it was never one individual. That was who was going to be the fall guy in the media’s eyes. We didn’t view it that way. Yes, we wanted him to play better, we all did. But he didn’t need to prove anything to us. He’d had eight double-doubles in the first 10 games. We were a little taken aback that everyone thought it was his fault. Those losses weren’t his fault. We all didn’t do our job. We took some of those things personally, the questions that were being asked.”

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Tristan Thompson helps Cavaliers ‘throw the first punch’ in 116-78 Game 5 victory over Raptors

By Michael Beaven Published: May 26, 2016

CLEVELAND: Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson knew he and his teammates needed to bounce back Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The effort and play in Games 3 and 4 were just not up to par for the Cavaliers as the Raptors built leads and won both games in Toronto to even the best of seven series.

“The last couple of games we didn’t bring the juice, we didn’t bring the energy,” Thompson said. “They threw the first punch, so tonight T-Lue [Cavs coach Tyronn Lue] told us in the pre-game huddle: ‘Throw the first punch and come out and play really aggressive and play hard,’ and that is what we did.”

The Cavs came out fast Wednesday and secured a 116-78 win over the Raptors to take a three games to two lead in the series. The Cavs will seek a win Friday to clinch a spot in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.

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Cavs' stars shine, pound Raptors 116-78 to move within one win of NBA Finals

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 25, 2016

CLEVELAND: The frayed nerves and trepidation that typically come with a two-game losing streak in the postseason doesn’t apply to LeBron James. He has been in this position plenty of times before.

James entered Wednesday’s pivotal Game 5 with a sense of calmness and expected his teammates to follow his lead. What they got instead was an explosion.

James had 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds, Kevin Love returned to form with 25 points and Kyrie Irving scored 23 in the Cavs’ 116-78 dismantling of the Toronto Raptors to take an emphatic 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals. It was the Cavaliers’ most lopsided playoff win in franchise history – surpassing their 31-point win at home in Game 1 of this series.

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