James had 29 points and 11 rebounds as the Cavs beat Toronto 128-93 to complete the four-game sweep and advance to the Eastern Conference finals. We saw that in the first series so now we should be pretty much immune to it. Not to mention, two game-winning shots.So it's hard to make the argument that's coming next, but, through three games in the postseason, members of the Cavs' organization felt James wasn't engaged the way he usually is during the playoffs.
The Sixers still face daunting odds headed into Game 5 and trailing 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals: No NBA team has ever won a series down 3-0.
Toronto will need a bounce-back performance from their top scorer, Demar Derozan, who pulled a disappearing act in Game 3, tallying only eight points and racking up more turnovers (three) than assists (two).
LeBron James spent four games up-close and personal with OG Anunoby and came away impressed with the Raptors rookie. Still, the Raptors were down a mere four points late in the first half, when Casey made the quizzical choice to sub in Lucas Nogueira, the offence-challenged Brazilian seven-footer who was making his first appearance of the series.
Going into Monday's contest, Cleveland had won nine straight playoff games - and 14 of its last 16 games (regular and post-season) - against Toronto. For James, the Google doc is 248 pages long, counting playoffs.James this season, from the first day of training camp on, had never - not once - spoken of the Cavs as though he believed they had a legitimate chance to win a second National Basketball Association championship. They had the big trade and all that.
23/6 - What happened to Kevin Love between Game 1 and Game 2 this series? So that IN series really helped us out going forward.
With a supporting cast firing on all cylinders, the Cavs are an altogether more unsafe teams than when they rely exclusively on LeBron.More news: ZTE asked the US Commerce Department to suspend the business ban
Toronto played a physical game, harassing and bumping James at every turn.
"The easy thing to do is just to write us off, write ourselves off and say 'Hey, look we're not worthy, '" Casey continued. DeRozan finished the quarter with a dunk to cap a 7-1 Toronto run that cut the Cavs' lead to 30-26.
LeBron James breaks hearts, shatters dreams and delivers joy all in one breath.
James was also kind in victory, saying the Raptors were "a very well-balanced, put-together team this year".
But despite cries to bench Love or move him back from center to power forward, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue stuck with him, and in doing so may have prolonged Cleveland's season.
Surprisingly, Matt hopes to draw the Cavaliers again next year - so they can get their own back after being eliminated by the OH team for three years running. Love became the fourth player in Cleveland history with 500 career playoff rebounds, joining James, Thompson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.