Cavs sweep Raptors, advance to Eastern Conference Finals

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers once again made a clean sweep in the playoffs, finishing off the Toronto Raptors with a 109-102 victory in Game 4 on Sunday.

Cleveland became the first team in NBA history to sweep through the first two rounds of the postseason in consecutive seasons. They also extended their playoff winning streak to 11, the third highest in NBA history.

Lebron James was once again dominant with 35 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and a block. He has been on another level since Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving added 27 points (10 in fourth quarter), 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Kevin Love struggled with just 5 points and 5 rebounds. JR Smith also struggled with just 5 points. Tristan Thompson put up 6 points but had 7 rebounds (3 offensive).

Kyle Korver and Channing Frye picked up some of the scoring from the struggling starters. Korver was 4-6 from three point land and had 18 points. Frye had 10 points off the bench as well.

Toronto put up a strong fight in their must win game. Even without Kyle Lowry for a second straight game with an ankle injury, they never backed down and fought all the way to the buzzer to avoid going home. It just wasn’t enough.

Serge Ibaka led the way with 23 points. Demar DeRozan and Corey Joseph had 22 and 20 points respectively. PJ Tucker had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals and had the duty of defending Lebron James for most of the game.

Now Cleveland will once again get some rest as they await their next opponent. The Boston Celtics currently lead the Washington Wizards two games to one with Game 4 coming Sunday night.

The earliest the Eastern Conference Finals will begin is Monday May 15th. If the Wizards/Celtics series goes seven games, the Conference Finals will begin Wednesday May 17th.

This will be the third straight Eastern Conference Finals appearance for the Cavaliers and seventh in franchise history. They have won the last two Eastern Conference championships in 2015 and 2016.

For Lebron James, it’s his seventh straight trip to the Eastern Conference Finals dating back to 2011 when he was with the Miami Heat.  He’s looking to advance to the Cavaliers to it’s third straight NBA Finals appearance and personally his seventh straight appearance in the Finals, the most consecutive appearances by one player since the members of the Boston Celtics teams of the 1960s.

 

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