Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

LeBron leads Cavs sweep; Sixers dump Celtics, avoid sweep

LeBron leads Cavs sweep; Sixers dump Celtics, avoid sweep

After sweeping the Toronto Raptors nearly single-handedly, LeBron James and Company now play the waiting game, awaiting the victor of the Boston-Philadelphia series, which brings up a realistic question: Is James' path to the NBA Finals inevitable?

A day after the Cleveland Cavaliers finished off a four-game sweep of the Toronto Raptors in their first-round playoff series, the biggest story around the team is not their sudden revival after a sluggish first-round series nor their chances against (probably) Boston in the upcoming conference finals.

Then they not only swept the Raptors, but they kept their foot on the gas to make sure they swept the Raptors, from whom the Cavs have won 10 consecutive playoff games, including four-game sweeps in each of the last two years. Toronto's frustration hit its peak late in the third when All-Star DeMar DeRozan was ejected for a flagrant foul. In that series, the 5th-seed Pacers pushed James and the Cavs to the limit, forcing them to work their hardest just to get out of the first round. "We've earned the right to get rest, rest our bodies, recalibrate our mind".

James is operating at the peak of his powers, with averages of 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9 assists through the first two rounds of the playoffs, all while shooting 55.3 percent from the field.

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James praised Toronto after defeating the Raptors 128-93 Monday night. The Toronto Raptors collapsed part-way through the second quarter of last night's Game 4 in Cleveland, and the Cavaliers ran away and hid.

The Eastern Conference Finals won't start until at least Sunday.

"The regular season doesn't matter", Lowry said.

Yet James said that doubt and negativity never crept into his mind. There was no comeback from the Raptors and they let the Cavaliers take over games.

But can the Toronto Raptors avoid being knocked out for a fourth straight year?

But despite cries to bench Love or move him back from center to power forward, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue stuck with him, and in doing so may have prolonged Cleveland's season.

Kevin Love contributed yet once again for the Cavs with 23 points and six rebounds, while J.R. Smith added 16 points in the victory.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey, looking for a spark to save the season - and maybe his Job - switched starting lineups for the second straight game. "But 10 days ago we had all the confidence in the world". LeBron used the Raptors gym to become the youngest National Basketball Association player to score 50 when, at age 20, he dropped 56 on Toronto in 2005.

Big changes could be in the offing for Toronto as they look to find another way to get over their hump.

"I think defensively we're playing pretty good", Lue said.

"I've been lying to myself for the last two, three weeks because I had plans on playing until June", he said.

Korver acknowledged the tension that the Pacers series caused. "We had a lot of challenges, considering the dominance (Toronto) had in the regular season".

Hood feels bad about the incident that happened with 7:38 left in the fourth quarter, and he expressed remorse on Tuesday to team officials about becoming a distraction, said the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

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