Cleveland Eliminates Toronto (Again):
The Cleveland Cavaliers are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth straight year. In three of the four seasons, the Cavaliers have eliminated the Toronto Raptors. In 2016, they met in the conference finals and in the last two years, they met in the conference semifinals. Cleveland has proved to be too much for the Raptors to handle. And it’s led by Lebron James. No one on the Raptors can check James and it’s led to a 12-2 record for the Cavaliers against Toronto over the last three playoffs. This series, it was no different. Cleveland came back to win Game 1 after being down by double digits in the first half. The series was pretty much over from that point forward.
After blowing out the Raptors in Game 2 on the road, Cleveland returned home and James added to his postseason legacy with yet another game-winning buzzer-beater. The Cavaliers led 3-0 and continued to pour it on by ending the series in Game 4, 128-93, and eliminating the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. It was supposed to be the season Toronto was able to compete with the Cavs, but it wasn’t even close. James totaled 29 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in Game 4. Kevin Love added 23 points on 50.0 percent shooting from three-point range, to go along with six boards. The Cavs’ supporting cast is getting better, and was extremely impactful in the final game.
All five starters surpassed 10 points. George Hill, Kyle Korver, and J.R. Smith combined to score 43 points on 77.2 percent shooting from the field. Smith didn’t miss from downtown, knocking down all three of his attempts, while Korver shot 4-5 percent from outside. The Cavaliers are undefeated, 5-0, since Hill returned from injury. He has helped turn Tyronn Lue’s team into a serious contender after not looking like one for much of the regular season. Cleveland will face the Boston Celtics or the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs were 2-1 against Boston in the regular season, and were 2-2 against the 76ers. The Celtics currently hold a 3-1 series advantage.
Photo Credit: NBA.com.