LeBron James produced another commanding display as the Cleveland Cavaliers demolished the Toronto Raptors 128-93 to seal a series sweep and advance to the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Monday.
James, the buzzer-beating hero of Cleveland’s epic victory in game three on Saturday, finished with 29 points as Toronto’s bid to avoid the ignominy of a 4-0 series loss ended in abject failure.
Toronto had entered the playoffs as the number one seed from the Eastern Conference, desperate to finally break the spell that James and the Cavaliers have held over them in repeated playoff series meetings.
But their fragility was underscored by a rampant Cleveland on Monday, with James leading a blowout win that ensures they will be well rested for the Eastern Conference finals, where they will play either Boston or Philadelphia.
It is the third straight year that the Raptors’ have bowed out of the playoffs against the Cavaliers.
James was once more the tormentor in chief for Toronto, contributing eight rebounds and 11 assists in addition to his 29 points.
Four other Cavaliers starters cracked double digits, with Kevin Love scoring 23 points and Kyle Korver 16 points.
J.R. Smith added 15 points while George Hill added 12.
Toronto’s miserable night saw DeMar DeRozan ejected in the fourth quarter while Kyle Lowry was restricted to just five points.
Jonas Valanciunas was a notable beacon of resistance, providing 18 points off the bench. But it was too little, too late for Toronto, who were comprehensively outplayed in every department.
rcw/wd (Additional editing by Sean McMahon)
© Agence France-Presse