It was a brutal, and ultimately ugly, defeat for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.
After a slow start and a series of late-game miscues, Cleveland led 34-27 after two quarters and took a lead that would have been insurmountable.
But LeBron James scored 23 points in the third quarter to help the Cavaliers clinch a playoff berth.
It was one of the biggest comebacks of the NBA season.
LeBron James’ 21 points were the most by any player in a game since the 2007-08 season when Kevin Garnett had 19.
LeBron’s 17 assists and nine steals tied the franchise record, breaking Kevin Garnets 17 assists set in 2007.
The Cavs are now 8-0 against the Raptors, including 3-1 since joining the league in 2007-2008.
The Cavaliers were a team to be feared in the first quarter, when they scored eight straight points to build a 23-10 lead and then opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run.
Then, as the Cavs made the lead all but insurmountably, they lost their second game in as many nights, and then a game to the Brooklyn Nets.
With the win, Cleveland now holds a 2-1 series lead over the Nets, who will host the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
It will be the Cavaliers’ first win in Brooklyn since April 3, 2009.
With James scoring 18 points, the Cavs led 30-20 after two and led 51-48 heading into the fourth quarter.
James finished with 21 points and nine rebounds for his second triple-double of the season.
That was also his seventh of the series.
The Warriors took a 24-point lead into the final minutes.
The Raptors took a 21-point edge into the break.
That lead was quickly erased, however, when James hit a 3-pointer with 7:08 left that made it 30-29.
But with the Cavs leading 36-30 at the break, James made the free throw with 1:45 left to make it a five-point game.
The loss left the Cavaliers 0-3 in their past four games, including a 4-1 loss to Golden State on Sunday night.
Cavs forward LeBron James had a season-high 18 points Sunday, and the Cavs went on a 17-4 run to close the first half.
Cleveland led by as many as 14 in the second half.
But the Warriors came back to get the game, outscoring Cleveland 28-21 in the final period.
Cleveland finished the game on a 15-6 run to take a 26-25 lead into halftime.
But Toronto rallied late in the fourth to make the final score 33-29 and put the game away.
It marked the Cavaliers longest victory of the playoffs, and their longest since beating Golden State in the 2015 NBA Finals.
It also marked the first time in their history that they’ve beaten the Warriors in the Finals.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue was asked about the win.
“It’s important to remember, in the playoffs and when you get a chance to win, you always want to try to get some momentum and try to make a run,” Lue said.
“This was the first game we played the last game of the regular season.
We came out and played hard, we competed and we got a big lead.
We were going to go after it, we were going after it.”
James scored 18 points and six assists to help Cleveland overcome its own struggles in the series opener.
James was the catalyst for a Cavs comeback that took the game out of the Raptors hands.
The two teams had battled all season, but the Cavaliers had never come out on top in the regular-season meetings.
The series was tied at 30 before James hit the game-winning shot with 2:23 left.
The game was tied when James and James Jones each hit 3-pointers.
The three scored 13 points apiece in the quarter, with the score tied at 50 when James scored the first six points.
The third quarter saw a lot of changes for the Cavs.
Cleveland went into halftime trailing by as much as 17 points.
After hitting 11 straight 3-point shots, James missed two and the Cavaliers took a 25-25 halftime lead.
After James hit two 3s in the period, Toronto started to roll offensively and took the lead back to within 12 on a 3 by Kevin Love.
The first 10 minutes of the third gave the Cavs a lead of 30-25.
The fourth quarter brought even more pressure for the Raptors.
James scored seven straight points in a row and the game went into overtime.
Toronto had led 26-20 at the end of the first overtime period before James had his first 3 of the game with 4:06 remaining.
James made two free throws with 4 minutes left in regulation to seal the victory for Cleveland.
It took a couple of bad missed shots by the Cavs but the Warriors finally put the dagger in Cleveland’s side.
“Our team came together,” Lued said. “(James