CLEVELAND, Sporting Alert – LeBron James grabbed a triple-double and Kyrie Irving dominated again, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Toronto Raptors 108-89 to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Cavaliers have now won 10 straight games to start the playoffs this season, this after sweeping the Pistons and the Hawks in the early rounds.
“I don’t think it feels like a streak,” James said of Cleveland’s run through the playoffs so far.
“It feels like we won one game, we won the next game. We’ve taken one step at a time. We’ve tried to take care of business.”
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue added about the 10-0 run: “We’ve got a great team & they’re playing great basketball right now.”
James finished with 23 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds en route to collecting his 15th career NBA playoffs triple-double, as he moved to 2nd on the NBA all-time list in that category behind Magic Johnson, who is way out front with 30.
The four-time MVP also jumped over Shaquille O’Neal into fourth place for scoring on the all-time playoffs list.
Thursday night’s win also saw the Cavaliers grabbing their 17 straight postseason victory against Eastern Conference opponents, which is the longest streak under the current NBA playoff format.
Irving shot 12-for-22 from the floor to finish with 26 points, while Kevin Love added 19 points, JR Smith ended with 12 and Tristan Thompson grabbing 12 rebounds for the Cavs, who shot 50 percent from field goal range.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 22 points, with Terrence Ross, James Johnson and Cory Joseph all had 11 points each off the bench in the defeat for the visitors.
Toronto was losing two games in a row in these playoffs for the first time.
The Raptors will host Game 3 on Saturday night and they are preparing to fight in this series.
“We’re not quitting,” said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. “Everybody can bury us, but we’re not quitting.
“I refuse to believe that.”
All-star guard Kyle Lowry, who scored 10 points and went from the field 4-for-14 in both games, and is 1-for-15 from 3-pointers in the series, is also ready to fight – believing that a win on Saturday could change things.
“I’m super confident,” he said. “I missed countless 3s that I thought were good and that I made last series.
“That’s why I’m not down on myself. We’ve got a game on Saturday, and I know I’m going to be much more effective. Simple as that.