The Cavaliers got the brooms out again--and used them.
For the second-straight playoff series, the Cavaliers took care of their opponent in four games as the Cavs held on to sweep the Toronto Raptors 109-102 in front of a sold out crowd in Toronto at Air Canada Centre. The Cavs swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, as well.
The Cavs won their 11th-straight playoff game and are the first team to have back-to-back sweeps to open the playoffs in consecutive years. LeBron James improved his NBA record 11th series sweeps in a seven-game series. The Cavaliers will now appear in their third-straight Eastern Conference Finals.
The Cavs controlled most of the game but Toronto came back from a 16-point deficit and took the lead, 93-92 on a jumper and a foul shot by Serge Ibaka with 6:38 left in the game.
However, it was Kyrie Irving time as the point guard outscored the Raptors himself 11-2 over the next 2:38 to give the Cavs a 103-95 lead with four minutes to play. From there, the Cavs were able to close the game out as Toronto could not close the gap the rest of the way.
"(Irving) was able to make some big plays down the stretch," LeBron James said. "He's battle-tested and he came up big."
James led the Cavs with 35 points, 6 assists and 9 rebounds, while Irving had 27 points and 9 assists. Kyle Korver came off the bench and added 18 points, including 16 in the second quarter. Channing Frye scored 10 points, as well.
The Raptors got off to a fast start in the first quarter and led 23-13 with 3:02 left in the period after Ibaka hit a running hook shot, hitting 10-of-11 shots during their run. However, from there, the Cavs finished the quarter with a 15-5 run and the two teams were tied at 28 after one quarter.
Led by Korver hitting 6-of-8 shots in the second quarter, including 4-of-6 from behind the three-point line, the Cavs took a 61-49 lead into halftime. Korver scored all 16 of his 18 points in the second quarter. Trailing 37-36, Kevin Love hit a three and the Cavs went on a 25-13 run to close out the quarter.
In the third quarter, things started off well for the Cavs as they built their lead to 16 points at 69-53 when Irving hit a jump shot. However, from there the Raptors were able to cut the Cavs lead to four points at 76-72 after a 19-7 run. Cleveland's lead was just five points after three quarters, 85-80 and they took the lead with 6:38 to play.
With the win, the Cavs will await the winner of the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. Currently, the Celtics lead the series 2-1. If Boston wins, the Celtics will have home court advantage. However, if the Wizards win, the Cavs will own home court.
James said the Cavs will get a needed rest for the Eastern Conference Finals.
"We get an opportunity to rest and get back onto the practice court."
LBJ: After passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second place on the NBA's all-time scoring list in playoffs games in Game Two, LeBron James now has his sights set on all-time leader Michael Jordan, who has 5,987 points. James started the game trailing Jordan by 186 points. James scored 35 points in Game Three and Game Four and now has 5,846 points to trail Jordan by 151 points entering the Eastern Conference Finals.
In Game Four, James had 16 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first half on his way to 35 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. After making 15-of-16 free throws in Game Three, James followed that up with 8-of-9 in Game Four from the charity stripe.
Kyrie Ball: Kyrie Irving took over when the Cavs went behind by one point in the fourth quarter, scoring 11-straight points to give the Cavs a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Irving finished with 27 points on 10-of-24 shooting. He also nine assists.
3-Ball: The Cavs used the three-ball once again to ignite their offense. Kyle Korver was 4-of-6 from distance and LeBron James was 5-of-12. the Cavs hit 10-of-23 (43.5 pct.) in the first half and finished 16-of-41 for 39 percent. The Raptors hit 10-of-29 for 34.5 percent, but the Cavs out scored the Raptors by 18 points from behind the arc.
Bench Brigade: Led by Kyle Korver, the Cavs bench out scored the Raptors bench, 26-7 in the first half. Korver had 16 points, including 16 in the second quarter, while Deron Williams and Channing Frye each had five points. Korver finished with 18 points and Frye had 10 points.
Dishing It: The Cavs had 24 assists, led by Kyrie Irving with 9 and LeBron James with 6. The Cavs had 10 turnovers.
Not much Love: Kevin Love had a quiet game with just five points and five rebounds.
No Lowry: P.J. Tucker started his first game in the playoffs in place of Lowry.
Week Off: After sweeping the Indiana Pacers, the Cavs had eight days before they opened the series with the Raptors. It is likely they will get about a week off again until the Eastern Conference Finals begin.
Next Up: The Cavs will wait for the winner of the Celtics and Wizards series. The Celtics currently lead, 2-1. The Celtics have the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and will have home court advantage over the Cavaliers should they advance. If the Wizards advance, the Cavs will have home court advantage as the Wizards are the No. 3 seed. The first two games of the series will be at the higher seeds home court.