JAMES LEADS CAVS CHARGE INTO FI­NALS

Cleve­land down Toronto for four-game sweep of play­off se­ries

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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.

Lebron James

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