Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

LeBron James scores 35 points, Cavaliers sweep Raptors

LeBron James scores 35 points, Cavaliers sweep Raptors

LeBron James scored 35 points and Kyrie Irving 27 as the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a four-game sweep of Toronto, beating the Raptors 109-102 on Sunday to give James his seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

"Since the second half of the season, he's really went to another level", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

"When LeBron is shooting the 3 ball the way he is, at the rate he's shooting it, they're hard", Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.

The two teams meet on Wednesday night in Boston, before a potentially decisive Game 6 in Washington on Friday. Kyle Korver came off the bench and added 18 points, including 16 in the second quarter.

"It's definitely a plus when you have guys that can close the game out and get into their zone, and at that point in time, we needed it", small forward LeBron James said.

"Today, I thought the guys played". It wasn't a rash decision that led to their most recent sweep, instead it was the impending result of last year's free agency when they allowed Biyombo to sign with the Orlando Magic. "The way they were making shots, and they were well-guarded, you're going to have to score 117-118 points a night to beat them".

Money often decides where a player ends up, but in Tucker's case you get the sense there's more to his free-agent decision than money.

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Irving put Cleveland back on top with a 3-pointer and with 5:34 to play made two free throws to give Cleveland a four-point lead.

His lay-up with four minutes left had Cleveland up by eight.

On the series as a whole, Cleveland shot 61-for-131 (46.6%) from beyond the arc, while Toronto went just 27-for-90 (30.0%).

Toronto has Ibaka's Bird rights and will have the capability to re-sign him along with Lowry. I've just gotta be better.

James had nine points in the fourth quarter. DeRozan said he thinks LeBron seems a lot faster and quicker this year, and that "him out there is much different from last year". All the while, Cleveland will be watching film, working on things they can do against either team, and getting some well-earned rest. "The whole experience has been unbelievable, I've had a great time". And once again I'm part of a team that's been able to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. "It's going to be a long summer".

With James better than ever and the Cavaliers firing 3-pointers from all over, Toronto lost to Cleveland for the second straight postseason. The Cavs opened a five-point lead in the two-plus minutes he missed. The Raptors' lead had morphed into a 16-point deficit by early in the third quarter.

But Irving responded with 11 straight points to put the Cavs up by eight, then James drained a three over Tucker with 2:54 to play that capped a 14-2 Cavs run. James led all scorers with 10 points and Ibaka led Toronto with seven points. Lowry's absence in Games 3 and 4 was a factor. PG Cory Joseph started at point guard for the Raptors with Lowry out. Not only did he average 36 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists, but he also found time to comment on the shoes of a Raptors fan sitting court-side in the middle of Game 4.

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