James finished with 29 points, 11 assists and spent some of the final 7:38 dancing near the bench during Cleveland’s 10th straight playoff win over Toronto, The Associated Press reported.
“It was a great series for us,” James said.
“We had a lot of challenges to start the series knowing the domination they had in the regular season. We had a great game plan and we just tried to execute it.”
Kevin Love added 23 points and J.R. Smith 15 for the Cavs, who can now rest while waiting for the Boston-Philadelphia semifinal series to end.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 and Kyle Lowry had 10 assists to lead the exasperated Raptors. Toronto’s frustration hit its peak late in the third when All-Star DeMar DeRozan was ejected for a flagrant foul.
There will be no historic comeback. Of the 130 teams to take a 3-0, all of them have won the series.
Cleveland will be appearing in its fourth straight conference final despite a turbulent regular season and a bumpy start to the playoffs.
It’s back to the drawing board for Toronto. The Raptors had the league’s second-best record, the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, a deeper bench and in Lowry and DeRozan enough firepower to offset James.
But after blowing a big lead and giving away Game 1 on their home floor, the Raptors never recovered and now face an offseason full of questions and second-guessing.
“We had a heck of a season,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey.
“But there’s a different level and you saw it tonight. Everybody called Cleveland out. But as long as they have him (James) they have a chance.”