JAMES LEADS CAVS CHARGE INTO FINALS
Cleveland down Toronto for four-game sweep of playoff series
NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers powered into the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday, downing the Toronto Raptors 109-102 to complete a four-game sweep of their playoff series.
LeBron James scored 35 points with nine rebounds and six assists as the Cavaliers subdued the desperate Raptors to remain unbeaten in eight games in these playoffs.
They’re the first team to win eight games in a row over consecutive post-season runs.
In the Eastern Conference finals, the Cavaliers will play either the Boston Celtics or Washington Wizards for a place in the NBA Finals.
John Wall tallied 27 points and 12 assists as the Wizards defeated the Celtics 121-102 Sunday to level their series at 2-2.
The Celtics took a 2-1 lead over Washington into game four of their series later Sunday.
Kyrie Irving added 27 points for the Cavaliers and Kyle Korver scored 18 off the bench.
Korver's 16 first-half points helped the Cavaliers erase an 11point first-quarter deficit and take a 61-49 half-time lead.
With their backs against the wall, down 16 points early in the third quarter, the Raptors responded, taking a 93-92 lead with 6:38 to play.
“The closeout game is always tough,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.
“It was a tough game for us. We knew it would be, coming into a hostile environment.”
But it marked the second straight year that the Cavs eliminated the Raptors from playoffs on their home floor.
They beat them in six games in the Eastern Conference finals last season.
James will be playing for a seventh consecutive NBA Finals appearance, having had four in a row with Miami and the past two with Cleveland, and his eighth overall.
James is 3-4 in his trips to the championship series.