Cavaliers complete sweep of Raptors, reach conference finals

The Associated Press

TORONTO — LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are headed back to a familiar place after sweeping aside another overmatched opponent.

James scored 35 points, Kyrie Irving added 27 and Cleveland beat the Toronto Raptors 109-102 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep and give James his seventh consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference finals.

“It’s rewarding when you can advance,” James said. “It’s not just given to you, you have to go out and earn it. Once again I’m part of a team that’s been able to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. It’s going to be my ninth time in 14 years. I’ll take those numbers.”

Kyle Korver scored 18 points to help the Cavs become the first team to win eight straight playoff games the year following a title, and the first team to win eight straight in consecutive postseasons.

“The fact that we play our best basketball in the postseason lets us know that we’re up for the challenge,” said James, who also had nine rebounds and six assists.

The Cavs will face the Boston Celtics or Washington Wizards for a spot in the NBA Finals.

James was 5-for-12 on 3-pointers, and Cleveland was 16-for-41 overall from long distance.

“When LeBron is shooting the 3 ball the way he is, at the rate he’s shooting it, they’re difficult,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s gong to take a Herculean effort to beat them.”

Serge Ibaka scored 23 points for the Raptors, and DeMar DeRozan had 22.