Cleveland Cavaliers superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving have teamed up to make several incredible plays during their three seasons as teammates.
On Monday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors, the two were at it again, working together to make what may be the best highlight of these playoffs so far.
After LeBron grabbed a steal in the first quarter, he tipped the ball to Irving and then followed behind as Irving threw him an alley-oop pass off the backboard, which James threw down with authority to send the Cleveland crowd into a frenzy.
The reason King James was ready for the unorthodox pass from Irving is that he actually, stunningly, called for the backboard pass while he was still at half-court, as you can see below:
Irving was happy to oblige the star forward, creating a play that will be shown in highlight videos for the rest of the postseason.
After the game, though, Irving downplayed the significance of the alley-oop, telling ESPN.com that he and LeBron have made several incredible plays during their time as teammates in Cleveland:
"It's just another play in the books for me and Bron," he said.
Irving finished with a team-high 10 assists and also added 24 points in the Cavs' 116-105 series-opening victory. James added a game-high 35 points and also chipped in with 10 rebounds and four assists.
Following a lengthy break after sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round, LeBron told ESPN.com that he was happy with the energy the Cavaliers showed in Game 1 against the Raptors:
"That was the mystery coming into the game, how we would come out?" James said. "Obviously you prepare, you want to come out and play well, but you never know after an eight-day layoff. But the energy was phenomenal."
Since the Cavaliers haven't played at Quicken Loans Arena since Game 2 of their first-round series, Cleveland fans were thrilled to finally see their team take the court again, providing plenty of energy themselves.
From there, the Cavs did the rest, limiting Toronto stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to 20 and 19 points, respectively.
James, Irving and Kevin Love combined for 77 points in Game 1, outscoring Toronto's Big 3 of Lowry, DeRozan and Serge Ibaka by 23 points - a major key to the Cavaliers' victory.
With all that James, Irving and Love do on offense, the key for the Cavs during this series will be their defense, and it's clear they came to play on both ends of the court on Monday night.