The Cleveland Cavaliers absolutely stormed past the Toronto Raptors in game one of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup 84-115 to record the largest winning margin in a playoff game in franchise history.
The Cavaliers are still unbeaten in the playoffs this year and LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ensured the Raptors wouldn't be the first to hand them a loss this postseason with a pair of monster performances.
King James added six rebounds and four assists on top of his 24 points and managed a dominant block on a surging Cory Joseph in the paint, too. Irving tallied a game-high 27 points to get the better of Raptors counterpart Kyle Lowry, who could only manage eight points during the opening clash of the finals.
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The Raptors point could only make four shots out of 21 from the field and that included coming up empty in his seven efforts from deep.
The Cavs had no such problems as they shot 67 percent from the field as a team in the first half.
Head coach of the Canadian franchise, Dwane Casey, intimated that Cleveland benefitted from being the fresher of the two sides having only played eight games in the postseason, which is the league lowest, compared to his troops who had endured two gruelling seven-game series to get to the Finals, which, conversely, is a league high.
"I thought they were the fresher team, the quicker team," Casey said.
Indeed, the Raptors only had one day to prepare for this Finals encounter compared to the nine days the Cavaliers were fortunate to enjoy.
Still, Casey's men were out-rebounded by 23-45 and in spite of the three-point wave that continues to sweep through the NBA, 56 of the first seed's points against Toronto came in the paint.
Kevin Love also chimed in with 14 points last night to complete a big night for Cleveland's big three. LeBron has been full of praise for his two superstar teammates who sadly missed out on the finals last year.
"They waited a full regular season to get back to this moment," James said of his teammates Irving and Love. "They trained their bodies all season long to get back to this point and those guys have been spectacular."
The Cavs are the first team to start the playoffs with nine straight wins since San Antonio stacked up 10 in a row in 2012. This sensational blowout win at the Quicken Loans Arena has certainly set the tone for the this series and the Raptors have plenty of work to do to not only stop a determined James, but to make a convincing case they can advance to the NBA Finals.
DeMarre Carroll will need to bring more to the table than two points, one rebound and one assist in nearly 20 minutes, for a start.