Cavaliers sweep Raptors to advance to Eastern Finals

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.

Listen, DeMar DeRozan was being sarcastic when he said, "If we had LeBron on our team, we would have won", but his implied assessment of LeBron James - he of six straight NBA Finals appearances and counting - and his impact on this series was not wrong.

Then comes LeBron, and he turns it all to ash.

Now that the Cavaliers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, the club can just relax as it awaits the Boston Celtics or the Washington Wizards. DeMar DeRozan added 22 with eight assists. "When he's hitting the shot like that, they're very hard to beat", Casey said. "I think he's chasing Michael (Jordan)". He told reporters today that he wants a ring more than anything else, but sometimes life isn't fair.

"It's on us to let this sink in and understand we gotta come back better, individual and team-wise", DeRozan said. "That extra hop step, everything out there on the court".

That mileage isn't insignificant. James led all scorers with 10 points and Ibaka led Toronto with seven points. Nevertheless, it seems he's speeding up, not slowing down.

Before Game 4 in Salt Lake City on Monday morning, Green said he hasn't been able to watch much of the Cavaliers first few series because they have been lopsided and "boring". "Since the second half of the season, he's really gone to another level". The way he's been playing is phenomenal. Teams that can play multiple shooters in different lineups have an advantage, and the Raptors need to find a way to get their hands on more of these players.

For his part, James insists both he and the Cavaliers still have room for improvement. "We're going to work on our habits this week and see what happens. We lost yesterday. I still have to get my ankle healthy, get treatment, get to that point". The Cavs await the victor of the Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards series in the conference finals, which won't open until at least May 15. The Raptors have had the most success in years, during this DeRozan-Lowry era, but it will always be known for coming up short against LeBron and the Cavaliers. "So just trying to add things to my game, continuing to improve". The small forward is just getting started with the Jazz at 27 years old, reaching the postseason for the first time as the star of the team. "He does everything. He creates, he helps on defense, he does everything". "The way they were making shots, and they were well guarded, you're going to have to score 117-118 points a night to beat them".

He singled out his players' confidence in three-point shooting, plus defensive areas such as shot challenges and rotations.

A rim protector who can shoot and defend on the perimeter, Ibaka fits the 3-point friendly style now employed by numerous league's top contenders. "But it got a lot better the last two weeks", Ibaka said. "I can finally breathe", Harden said.

Unfortunately for Cleveland's opponents, there's no such option.

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