LeBron James produced another stellar performance with 29 points and 11 assists, ending Toronto's post-season chances for the third straight year. "We've done that from IN to Toronto".
"I would never say a team has to win Game 1 but the Toronto Raptors had to win". But we had a great gameplan and we executed it. "I don't know if we win this series like this if we didn't go through that in that first series, so hopefully we keep learning our lessons and continue to get better".
James had played every other night dating back to Game 5 of the Pacers series.
LeBron James didn't need almost the playing time or drama called for in Games 1 and 3.
118.5 ... points per game averaged by the Wine & Gold in their four-game sweep of the Raptors.
Meanwhile, it sounds like the Cavaliers' tactics were simple - their coach Tyronn Lue said on Sunday: "You just get the ball to Bron at the end of the game". "That's insane. I mean, to change a team who they said played iso basketball, to being top (five), I guess, in offence and defence this year, the second-best record in the NBA - like, I don't believe that one bit", Lue said. They shot nearly 60% for the game.
While Ibaka had five early points, Cleveland had success going straight through the heart of the Toronto defence - often unimpeded. "I don't get caught up in that". For example, when the Raptors needed him most, DeMar DeRozan failed to step up, scoring just 21 points total in Games 3 and 4.
Jonas Valanciunas took advantage of the Cavaliers' willingness to surrender the paint to score 18 points in less than 16 minutes. But it was too little, too late for Toronto, who were comprehensively outplayed in every department.
"They laid their hearts out", coach Dwane Casey said of his team, which now trails 3-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinal.
"He's emotional because he's into the game", said Lue, who added Van Gundy supported him during his health absence. In fitting fashion, the Cavs closed out the series with a 35-point blowout, a near mirror image to that humiliating loss back in January.
"They've just got our number". And so when he struggles, things can go way south, as the Pacers series showed.
We've all run out of ways to describe LeBron's 15-year run of sustained, healthy excellence, but what he's done in the 2018 playoffs might represent the peak version of his superpowers.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - T.J. McConnell turned a surprise start into the save of the season and Dario Saric scored 25 points to help the 76ers stave off elimination in a win over the Celtics in Game 4.
The Celtics could have clinched a 4-0 sweep but instead the Sixers' win ensured there will be a game game five in Boston on Wednesday.