It took a little longer than most expected, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have clinched their second-straight trip to the NBA Finals. The Cavs beat the Toronto Raptors 113-87 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night, reversing unexpected road losses in Games 3 and 4 to go along with three blowout wins in Cleveland. The Cavaliers await either the Golden State Warriors or Oklahoma City Thunder and will attempt to claim the first championship in franchise history and first major title for Cleveland since 1964 when the finals begin on Thursday.
Not surprisingly, LeBron James was the star of the night for the Cavaliers. The franchise icon scored 33 points (13-of-22 FG, 3-of-6 3FG), grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out six assists, and blocked three shots in a commanding performance, ensuring that his team would not have to return home for a Game 7 on Sunday. LeBron had not scored 30 points in 13 prior games this postseason, the longest such drought to open a playoffs in his career. He had previously waited no longer than the third game of the postseason to score 30.
This season's relatively lengthy stretch without scoring speaks to the depth of the Cavaliers and their demolition of their three Eastern Conference opponents this postseason. With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love healthy following injuries last postseason, the Cavs move onto the finals at full strength after having just those two games to the Raptors through their three East series. Their eventual West opponent will be considerably better than any team they have faced so far, but the Cavaliers should enter the series well rested and with an excellent chance to bring home a title.
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