Kyle Korver comes off the bench, helps Cleveland clamp a lid on the Raptors

Korver made a difference for the Cavaliers

TORONTO — Kyle Korver came off the bench late in the third quarter, giving Cleveland star LeBron James a breather. Then the 14-year veteran did what he does best — sink shots.

Korver, who entered with 2:01 remaining in the quarter and the Cavs leading Toronto 71-70, pulled down a rebound and hit back-to-back three-pointers to quiet the sold out Air Canada Centre crowd of 20,384.

Korver grabbed a rebound and hit another three to open Cleveland’s account in the fourth. The Cavaliers were off to the races, blowing past Toronto with a 36-17 quarter for a 115-94 win Friday that left the Raptors reeling â€” facing elimination in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal Sunday.

“Those were huge,” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said of Korver’s timely three-pointers. “That’s why he’s here. He’s a specialist. No matter the time or the score, he’s always willing to make and take those big shots. That’s why we love him.”

Kyrie Irving seconded that.

“Kyle being himself, the best shooter in the world,” said the star guard. “I’m glad he’s on our team this year.”

Korver finished with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three point range, in a little more than 21 minutes. He also contributed at the other end, with two blocked shot in the fourth as Cleveland clamped a lid on Toronto’s offence.

Korver, whose four three-pointers were twice that of the entire Raptors lineup, played 10 minutes-plus in the decisive final quarter.

“You don’t get to play in the fourth quarter unless you play defence. I’ve learned that over the years,” said the six-foot-seven Korver. “I know I’m not the most athletic guy put there or the biggest guy, but I just try to be smart. I just play angles and play good team defence and I tried to do that tonight.”

James said the game tilted in the fourth because of two things.

“Well defensively we got stops. And Kyle got hot. And when Kyle gets hot, you’ve got to keep giving him the ball.”

Cleveland acquired Korver in January, sending Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams and a protected future first-round draft pick to Atlanta to get the veteran catch-and-shoot specialist.

While his talents are appreciated in Cleveland, Korver knows there is a long list of talent on the Cavs’ bench.

“This is the way the playoffs are going to be with me usually,” he said. “There’s going to be a few games where there’s not a lot of looks and there’s going to be that one game where there’s probably going to be some.

“I just keep on telling myself that I’ve got to be ready for that game and tonight was one of them.”

Korver averaged 5.3 points a game in the first-round sweep of Indiana and 4.5 points in the first two wins over Toronto.

So Game 3 was a night to remember for the veteran.

“It was definitely nice to get some shots and to knock them down,” he said. “And to feel like basketball player not just a decoy out there. But like I said, I know my role on the team and I’m not complaining about anything. It’s an amazing role, situation for me to be in.”

___

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Three suspicious fires in Saanich under investigation

Saanich Fire are currently investigating three suspicious spot-fires in Saanich’s Panama Flats… Continue reading

Victoria police find woman hiding replica handgun in purse

Officers used de-escalation training with woman in downtown alley

Saanich seals history with time capsule

Saanich will re-open time capsule in 2067

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

VIDEO: Unconscious boater rescued near Sooke

The woman was taken to hospital in Victoria on Sunday

Island wide crime spree leads to multiple charges against Cowichan Valley resident

Social Media and citizens of the North Island played a big role in solving the case.

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Most Read