But as the buzzer sounded on Toronto's season Monday night - the Cavaliers putting an exclamation point on a four-game sweep with a 128-93 throttling that counted as the biggest margin of defeat for a No. 1 seed at the hands of a lower seed in an elimination game in National Basketball Association history - you could only consider its strategic choices to be abysmal failures.
"We have one more game", said Casey, perhaps stating the inevitable.
Cleveland, which finished nine games back of the Raptors in the Eastern Conference, won the first two games in Toronto 113-112 in overtime and 128-110.
Derozan has yet to sink a three-point shot in the series in only nine attempts, despite respectable 22 and 24 point outings in Games 1 and 2, respectively.
The 76ers still face long odds to win the series as they head into Game 5 and trailing 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. And in Game 3, they rallied to tie the game at 103-103 before James' memorable off-balance buzzer-beater. And while the undermanned Celtics have looked great thus far in the postseason, many believe they ultimately would get trounced by James, who's playing on an otherworldly level during the playoffs. Whether it was their seemingly unstoppable offense or defense, it was hard to find a flaw in the Cavs' Game 4 performance.
The results spoke for themselves throughout the series, with all five Cavs starters - plus reserve forward Jeff Green - averaging double-digit scoring figures against Toronto after James and Love were the only ones to do so vs. the Pacers.
In four games against the Raptors, LeBron averaged 34 points, 8.3 rebounds and 11.3 assists on 55 percent shooting from the field.
Barkley said on TNT: "Psychologically after Game 1, they were done". They won four of seven from a tough, talented IN team, followed by an overwhelming four-game sweep of the No.1 seed IN the East.
James has done it at both ends in the waning moments of games all season for a team that has only four holdovers from its 2016 title squad. "I felt coming into the series this would be a tough challenge for us".
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"We enjoy it", Lue said.
"The team just seemed to catch up to LeBron", Pluto said.
"Everyone had counted Cleveland out", said Toronto coach Dwane Casey, whose could be fired.
But Miles picked up two quick fouls and the Cavs' offense was in gear from the start as Cleveland opened 12 of 15 from the floor while building a 26-17 lead.
Even from LeBron James, who, at age 33, is already the best or second-best player of all-time.
Unfortunately for Toronto, with just eight seconds left on the clock, everyone in the arena knew where the ball was going. It's a highlight that has been replayed endlessly on sports TV ever since, along with pundits discussing how Cleveland owns Toronto in the playoffs.
James was also kind in victory, saying the Raptors were "a very well-balanced, put-together team this year".
Teams that trail 3-0 in a best-of-seven series have forced a Game 7 three times.