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NBA: Cavs take 3-0 lead; Spurs up

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – LeBron James scored 35 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 115-94 Friday to take a 3-0 stranglehold lead in their second round NBA playoff series.

James also tallied eight rebounds and seven assists as Cleveland look ahead to clinching the series with a win in game four on Sunday in Toronto.

“When we’re getting stops, we’re a dangerous team,’’ Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “It was an all-round good game for us rebounding, offensively and defensively, so we just have to keep that up.’’

The Raptors played without star point guard Kyle Lowry who sprained his ankle in Wednesday’s loss in Cleveland.

Toronto led by three points at halftime but the Cavaliers kept pressing in the third and seized command in the fourth.

James was instrumental in the comeback, scoring 13 points in the final quarter.

Lowry took part in the warm-up and was listed as active for the game, but Cory Joseph started in his place. Lowry remained on the bench for the whole game.

Kevin Love delivered 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavaliers, and Kyrie Irving also scored 16 while Kyle Korver had 14 points. Tristan Thompson added nine points and 12 rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan rebounded from a poor performance in game two to lead Toronto with 37 points.

“I liked our fight, I loved the way our guys competed,’’ Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “There was no back down.’’

Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points and eight rebounds, with Norman Powell chipping in with 13 points and Serge Ibaka scoring 12.

SPURS 103, ROCKETS 92
HOUSTON (AP) – Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points apiece to help San Antonio, now without Tony Parker, beat Houston to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Aldridge had managed just 19 points combined in the first two games, but stepped up in the wake of Parker’s season-ending leg injury, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter to help the Spurs pull away.

Game 4 is Sunday night in Houston.

James Harden led the Rockets with 43 points after scoring just 13 in Game 2. But he had just five assists and complained about the officiating all night.

The Spurs were playing in the postseason without Parker for the first time since 2001, ending an NBA record of 221 straight playoff appearances for the Frenchman. The 34-year-old was injured in the fourth quarter of Game 2.

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