Sport

Cavs bring out the brooms again in Raptors sweep

Cavs bring out the brooms again in Raptors sweep

Serge Ibaka scored 23 points for the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan had 22 points and eight assists, Cory Joseph scored 20 points and added 12 assists, P.J. Tucker scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Norman Powell scored 10 points.

DeRozan was being sarcastic when he referenced LeBron James in a Raptors jersey.

In fact, James may be more lethal now than ever.

Making his second start in place of injured point guard Kyle Lowry, Cory Joseph had 20 points and 12 assists for Toronto, which lost in six games against Cleveland a year ago in the Conference Finals.

Such a stat line has never been accomplished by anyone over the course of an entire postseason.

As is always the case, the head coach will be re-assessed and Ujiri and company will decide whether they want to stay with Dwane Casey. "And that's all I've thought about right now".

"Honestly man, I wanna just get better, I wanna have fun, I wanna win a ring". DeRozan, who was obviously a bit frustrated, talked about how James was clearly the difference maker among these two teams.

DeRozan, who was coming off a career playoff high 37 points, went down in a heap in the second quarter after taking a knee to the groin from Iman Shumpert. "That extra hop step, everything out there on the court".

For a while, Game 4 looked as though it might actually end up a Toronto win. So that's why when it comes to things like this, I don't put the pressure on him, or I don't say: do this, do that.

That mileage isn't insignificant. James averaged 32.8 in round one, 36 in round two. Nevertheless, it seems he's speeding up, not slowing down.

"Since the second half of the season, he's really went to another level", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

So, will Cleveland's defensive improvement carry over through the rest of the playoffs?

"I think we picked a team to go against that was a buzzsaw", Casey said. The way he's been playing is phenomenal.

Wherever Tucker happens to play during the 2017-18 season - and Toronto remains a possibility even amid all this uncertainty - the team that acquires him will be better.

For his part, James insists both he and the Cavaliers still have room for improvement. This wasn't quite the insane level of ultra-efficiency LeBron had shown in the last couple games, and I'm sure LeBron won't be happy with the 6 turnovers he committed, but it was a 35 point, 9 rebound, and 6 assist display of greatness once again. Maybe they could have punched with LeBron and company if they had more time to get used to one another. Even though we won this series, there's some things we can clean up.

And from the Elias Sports Bureau, Cleveland tied an National Basketball Association record with its 12th consecutive win in series-clinching games, first set by the Lakers from 2000-2004.

Thomas scored 33 and 53 points respectively in the series' first two games, but he was held to 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting during Game 3 as Washington turned up the defensive intensity and pressure.

"It's going to be my ninth time in 14 years", he said of making the conference final. "He's just the motor of that team".

"You're going to have to have very flexible defenders", Casey said, "and you're going to have score 117, 118 points a night".

"We needed that, we needed to be tested throughout 48-minute games", Irving said. "He's got to make the decision, as a friend I've got to be there to support him".

Unfortunately for Cleveland's opponents, there's no such option. I feel like we've seen a lot more than a lot of other teams.


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