LeBron fires Cleveland Cavaliers into NBA Finals
LeBron James scored 33 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 113-87 on Friday to win the Eastern Conference.
It was the first game in the series won by the visiting team and the Cavaliers will play in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.
The Cavaliers led by as many as 14 points in the first half and had a 21-point lead during the third quarter. They led by 12 entering the fourth quarter.
The Raptors got the lead down to 10 before the Cavaliers took over and regained their 21-point lead on Kyrie Irving's bank shot with 4:49 to play.
Irving scored again on a floating bank shot to increase the lead to 23 with 3:32 left.
Irving finished with 30 points for the Cavaliers and Kevin Love added 20 and J.R. Smith scored 15.
Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 35 points and DeMar DeRozan added 20.
The Cavaliers led by as many as 11 points during the first quarter, a lead the Raptors cut to four before James completed the scoring with a layup to give him 14 points. Cleveland took a 31-25 lead into the second quarter.
Channing Frye opened the second quarter and increased the Cavaliers' lead to 12 points. The Raptors cut that lead in half on DeRozan's short jumper with 5:48 left in the half. James answered with a 3-pointer and a dunk.
James finished the first half with 21 points and the Cavaliers led 55-41. Lowry led Toronto with 12 first-half points.
Tristan Thompson opened the scoring in the second half and Cleveland's lead was up to 16. Love bumped the lead to 18 before two minutes had elapsed.
The Raptors got back to within 13 points with 6:57 to play in the third but Smith made a 3-pointer and Irving followed with a pullup jumper with 4:58 to go and Cleveland led by 20.
The Cavs' lead got up to 21 before Lowry hit a 3-pointer with 2:57 left in the quarter.
Lowry completed an 18-point third quarter when he converted three free throws in the final second and Cleveland led 86-74 entering the fourth quarter.
DeRozan opened the fourth-quarter scoring to cut the lead to 10 points. But James put Cleveland ahead by 16 points on a tip in with 8:38 to play.
Irving made successive bank shots and Cleveland led by 23 with 3:32 to play.
James got the lead to 25 points with two free throws with 2:38 left.