By Michael Donovan
The Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Toronto Raptors for the second consecutive season, finishing off the Raptors 128-93 in Game 4.
The Cavaliers have beaten Toronto for the third consecutive postseason – 4-2 in the 2016 conference finals, 4-0 in last season’s conference semifinals and 4-0 in this season’s conference semifinals.
It’s now 10 consecutive playoff victories for Cleveland against Toronto. This defeat is deflating for the Raptors because it changed its style of play following last season to better compete with Cleveland. It was a regular-season success. They finished with a franchise-record 59 victories and the No. 1 seed.
LeBron James would have recorded his 22nd career playoff triple-double had the Cavs not been up 110-80 in the fourth quarter when he went to the bench for the rest of the game. He had 29 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and for the series, he averaged 34 points, 11.3 assists and 8.3 rebounds and shot 55.3% from the field.
James wanted to finish this series off and get rest. He started the series exhausted coming off a seven-game series against the Pacers, and the conference finals won’t begin until Sunday at the earliest. He sensed the moment and didn’t squander the chance to get a break between series. Cleveland is 10-0 in a Game 4 with a 3-0 series lead – all with James.
James’ teams have now won 23 consecutive conference series, and Cleveland is 44-8 in the conference playoffs since he returned to the Cavs.
And he is four victories from reaching the Finals for the eighth consecutive season.