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LeBron James blows away Toronto as Cleveland advance in National Basketball Association playoffs

08 May 2017

LeBron James scored 35 points with nine rebounds and six assists as the Cavaliers subdued the desperate Raptors to remain unbeaten in eight games in these playoffs. He also recorded his 91st game of 30 or more points in the playoffs.

It was the first playoff sweep for Toronto since the opening round against Washington in 2015. You have to go out and earn it.

The Cleveland Cavaliers notched a second straight whitewash as they booked their place in the Eastern Conference final of the National Basketball Association play-offs. Not that they would ever say such a thing, but it's evident that after two years of being trounced by James in the playoffs after virtually going win-for-win with them in the regular season, Lowry and DeRozan are beginning to wonder if there's a breakthrough on the horizon, however distant. "I'll take those numbers".

Isaiah Thomas had 19 points for Boston, but scored 17 in the first 15 minutes. Boston leads that series, 2-1, with Game 5 set for this evening. He wasn't done. He hit another layup at the four-minute mark for 11 straight Cavaliers points and a 103-95 lead. They led by 13 in the third quarter on May 7, let Toronto back in the game, and fell behind, 93-92, with 6:37 left.

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Irving put Cleveland back on top with a three-pointer and with 5:34 to play made two free throws to give Cleveland a four-point lead. James is 3-4 in his trips to the championship series.

"Winning time", Irving said. A lot of our offense was on Bron's shoulders. You look on the scoresheet after the game and he's still playing 42 minutes a game. He committed six turnovers, so he isn't flawless, but considering he played 46 minutes, and considering he handles the ball virtually every time the Cavaliers move down the floor, Lue can live with six turnovers. Coach Tyronn Lue called for a mandatory team dinner at a steakhouse in Toronto and while their dinners were digesting, the team gathered around a television to watch Game 3 of the Golden State-Utah Jazz series. I know in that fourth quarter I tried to get him out for a couple of minutes, but he said no, I'm fine. Thomas was mad that referees allowed the Wizards to get away with holding and grabbing him but acknowledged the 26-0 run - not the officiating - decided the game. Their three-point shots, whether uncontested or contested, starting falling, and can't-miss Korver, who was acquired in January from Atlanta for nights just like this, had four in the second quarter alone.

Raptors: Toronto shot 10 for 29 from 3-point range.

James made a team-high five 3-pointers Sunday, and went 8 for 9 at the free throw line.

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DeMar DeRozan did everything he could for the Raptors.

It was the second successive year the Raptors had their season cut short by the Cavs, who needed six games to see off Toronto in the Conference Finals in 2016.

And so, the only win for the Toronto Raptors in the second round of the playoffs was a moral victory.

Last season, it was Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals when it was all over.

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The coach also said he would leave questions about the future of his roster up to management. He is the difference. Beefed-up by late-season deals for Ibaka and Tucker, Toronto expected to push Cleveland a little harder this year, but showed they still couldn't handle the Cavs.