They finished off the Raptors about an hour before Game 4 between the Celtics and Wizards tipped off in Washington.
The Cavs, who dispatched the Raptors in six games in last season's Eastern Conference final, became the first team ever to start 8-0 in the playoffs in back to back seasons. After a basket by Cory Joseph, Irving added two more free throws and a layup, scoring all of Cleveland's points in an 11-2 run that gave the Cavs a 103-95 edge with 4:00 remaining. "There's desperation at their end and desperation at our end".
In the eighth dominant performance by the King in eight games, James put up 35 points, six assists and nine rebounds as the Cavaliers beat the Toronto Raptors 109-102.
"Winning close-out games is always tough", Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said.
But with Kyle Lowry on the bench for a second straight game with a sprained ankle, the Raptors couldn't match the Cavs' firepower.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in San Antonio. "And if we played like that and Kyle (Lowry) was back, we're talking about a very winnable game".
When LeBron stated "He has nothing left to prove" means it's a scary thought for opponents to play against him like he has nothing to lose. I thought our guys played with grit, toughness, togetherness.
Team president Masai Ujiri now has many hard decisions to make, and not many easy answers presenting themselves. Ibaka, Tucker and Patrick Patterson are set to become free agents, and there is no guarantee they will return. "It's not just given to you".
Tucker had plenty of good things to say about his latest run in Toronto, which began on National Basketball Association trade deadline day when the Raptors acquired him from Phoenix.
With a superstar in James, a star in Kyrie Irving and shooters who can stretch defences and allow for spacing, Tucker realizes the Raptors ran into a great team. He's helped me tremendously, helped me be me, a better man, a better basketball player.
"A lot of the offense was on LeBron's shoulders", said Irving, who was willing to share the load. "It's gonna be one of them long summers for us".
Throughout the 2015-16 season, Toronto was home to a team brimming with confidence as they made their way to their first conference finals just weeks after notching their first 50-win campaign. Toronto was one of only three teams - and the only one in the Eastern Conference - in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
Throughout last year's series with the Cavaliers, the Raptors gave up a much more reasonable average of 105.8 points a game.
The Cavaliers opened a 14-point lead on Korver's 3-pointer late in the first half. The Raptors' lead was a 16-point deficit by early in the third quarter.
The Rockets never trailed and used hot 3-point shooting to pull away in the third quarter.
The Raptors, though, found another gear in the third, and when Tucker launched a three with 0.8 seconds left in the quarter, it cut Cleveland's lead to 85-80 with one quarter left.
So yes, having James on the Raptors would have likely led to an alternate story ending in Toronto.