With calm, deadly precision, the Cleveland Cavaliers annihilated the Toronto Raptors 116-78 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night.

Kevin Love came alive with a game-high 25 points on 80 percent shooting, and LeBron James added 23 points and eight assists as the Cavs took a 3-2 series lead.

The Raptors will try to keep their season alive in Game 6 Friday night back at the Air Canada Centre.

Per the Akron Beacon Journal:

“I come into every game looking for a game like this,” Love said from the corner of the Cavs’ locker room. “More than anything, I just wanted to respond and try to help our team win.”

 

So Love chose to skip the podium Wednesday on a night his performance most certainly warranted it: 25 points, 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range and 8-of-10 overall. He made his first six shots, played inside-out as he prefers and was a menacing, aggressive scorer on a night the Cavs needed him to get back to the player he was when they were sweeping teams in the playoffs.

 

Love shot the ball poorly during the two games in Toronto, going a combined 5-of-23 in the losses, including 3-of-11 from the 3-point line. “He had a bad game,” coach Tyronn Lue said during Tuesday’s off day. “He’s human. We think guys are going to play great every night. He’s had an unbelievable playoffs, he’s played very well and he’s had two bad shooting nights.” […] Lue later acknowledged, however, that he had a talk with Love prior to Game 5, reminding him to keep shooting even if the shots aren’t falling. His teammates told him the same thing. Channing Frye talked to him. So did Richard Jefferson.