Cleveland, Ohio, USA: Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers now await the Celtics vs Sixers series winner after completing a sweep of the Raptors with a 128-93 win in Game 4 on Monday night to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth straight year.
The Cavaliers improved to 10-0 in Game 4 closeouts having won their 15th straight second-round game dating to the 2015 playoffs.
Cleveland opened 12 of 15 from the floor while building a 26-17 lead and never looked back.
All five Cleveland starters scored in double figures and Love continued his spring rebirth after struggling against the physical Pacers.
LeBron James finished with 29 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds in Cleveland’s 10th straight playoff win over Toronto. James entered Game 4 with 348 points in these playoffs, the most through 10 games by any player since Michael Jordan (354) in 1992.
Kevin Love added 23 points, 6 rebounds and J.R. Smith 15 for the Cavs becoming the fourth player in Cleveland history with 500 career playoff rebounds, joining James, Thompson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Cleveland took control with a 12-0 run over the final 2:12 of the first half. The Cavs didn’t let up, pushing their lead to 30.
After James dropped a fadeaway baseline jumper to give Cleveland a 27-point lead, the 33-year-old stared at Toronto’s bench as he ran back on defense.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 and Kyle Lowry had 10 assists to lead the Raptors.
DeRozan finished with 13 points after sitting out the fourth quarter in Game 3
The Raptors finished the regular season with the league’s second-best record and a franchise-best 59 wins to secure the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Raptors had a deeper bench and in Lowry and DeRozan enough firepower to offset Lebron James but that was not to be.
In bowing out in four games in the second round, Toronto becomes the first No. 1 seed in 49 years to get swept before the conference finals. The only other team to suffer such a fate in a seven-game series was the Baltimore Bullets, who fell to the New York Knicks 4-0 in the 1969 Eastern Division semifinals.
the last No. 1 seed to be swept in the playoffs was the Atlanta Hawks, who fell at the hands of Cleveland in the 2015 East finals. LeBron James owns the personal record for the most series sweeps in NBA history, now boasting a full dozen. He’s won 10 straight playoff matchups against Toronto, dating back to 2016, having also swept the Canadian club last year.
NBA Playoffs No. 1 seeds that got swept, in the last 40 years:
1983 Finals (Los Angeles Lakers by Philadelphia 76ers)
1989 Finals (Los Angeles Lakers by Detroit Pistons)
1995 Finals (Orlando Magic by Houston Rockets)
2001 West Finals (San Antonio Spurs by Los Angeles Lakers)
2002 Finals (New Jersey Nets – now Brooklyn Nets – by Los Angeles Lakers)
2003 East Finals (Detroit Pistons by NJN)
2015 East Finals (Atlanta Hawks by Cleveland Cavaliers)
2018 East Semis (Toronto Raptors by Cleveland Cavaliers)