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

New trail system proposed for Sooke

System will connect parks and green spaces and encourage alternate forms of transportation

Giants draw first blood in WHL playoff series vs. Victoria

Home ice advantage non-existent for Royals against arch-rival Vancouver

Saanich makes appeal for regional fire dispatch system

Five CRD communities drop Saanich service in favour of Surrey

Sooke football coach has no plans on stopping

Tony Nelson has played multiple sports his entire life

Elizabeth May arrested at Kinder Morgan protest

Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, speaks out against pipeline

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

Most Read