James had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Cavs became the fourth team to start the postseason with 10 straight wins, joining the Los Angeles Lakers (1989, 2001) and San Antonio Spurs (2012). Playing at a different level than the rest of the field, the Cavs are now two wins from appearing in their second straight NBA Finals and trying to end Cleveland’s 52-year sports championship drought.
“I don’t think it feels like a streak,” James said of the Cavs’ rampage through the playoffs. “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.”
The Raptors managed to hang around longer than in Game 1, when they were blown out by 31. But Toronto lacks the necessary firepower to stay with a Cleveland team playing its best basketball this season, one that James likened to a football team.
“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.
“We’re not quitting,” said coach Dwane Casey. “Everybody can bury us, but we’re not quitting. I refuse to believe that.”
James moved past Shaquille O’Neal into fourth place on the career postseason scoring list and posted his 15th playoff triple-double, securing it by running down rebound No. 10 with 8:01 left. He scored on Cleveland’s next possession, and while sitting on the bench during a subsequent timeout, he saluted applauding Cavs fans by pressing his fingers to his lips and touching his heart.
And the Cavs are playing like it under coach Tyronn Lue, also a perfect 10 in the playoffs.
“It’s not easy,” said Lue, who took over when the Cavs fired David Blatt in January.
The Cavaliers, though, are making it look easy — too easy — during their pristine postseason.