Stars of the Hardwood, Cavs/Raptors Game 4

Max: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a series.

Just a couple of days after news of him using the bathroom was plastered across home pages everywhere, Kyle Lowry played like All-Star, one-of-the-best-point-guards-in-the-league Kyle Lowry to lead the Raptors to a 105-99 Game 4 victory.

Lowry scored 20 of his 35 points in the first half, helping the Raptors jump out to a strong early lead as the Cavs missed 19 of their 22 three-point attempts. He finished the night 4-7 from deep and his lay-up with 30 seconds left iced the game, but his biggest play came on defense in the fourth quarter.

Cavs shots that were clanging out finally started going down in the  fourth quarter and LeBron and Co. connected on their first 11 shots of the final period. Almost all of those makes came out of this play:

The Raptors needed someone, anyone, to step up and stop that play. Kyle Lowry did, as John Schuhmann expertly details here.

The Cavs never went back to that set and their furious comeback fell by the wayside. For driving the offense all game and making the biggest defensive play, Kyle Lowry gets my star of the game.

Kelly: And we actually had a competitive game! This series was turning into blow out after blow out after blow out. A major reason for that was Bismack Biyombo. I mean look at him:

I mean look at that! The finger-wagging, flexing machine pulled down 14 rebounds and added 3 blocks in this game. His defensive prowess is seriously causing issues for the Cavaliers. He’s quick, he’s smart and I don’t know – I feel like he appears out of nowhere half of the time to grab a rebound straight out of the air or deny someone a shot.

Yes DeMar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry combined to score 67 points, which is incredible, but the Raptors do not tie up this series without Biyombo’s play and last night he showed just why he’s so important.

Outside of this column, Max and I have discussed how Harrison Barnes has basically played himself out of a max deal. It’s almost like he wants to not have that kind of money or pressure thrown at him. Biyombo, however, could be playing his way to a huge pay day. Especially if he helps this team beat the Cavs, again.

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