- Jason Miller/Getty Images
- LeBron James’ teammates came to play on Monday night, leading the Cavaliers through the first half and giving James a well-deserved night of not having to do everything.
- The fantastic game for the supporting cast came just days after “Saturday Night Live” released a sketch mocking James’ teammates as the “Other Cavaliers.”
- With the win, the Cavaliers swept the top-seeded Toronto Raptors out of the postseason, and are now just four wins away from James’ eighth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.
LeBron James finally got some help.
Throughout Monday night’s win over the Toronto Raptors, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, and Kyle Korver all stepped up to provide James with the best support they’ve offered yet in the 2018 NBA playoffs.
The one-man-show aspect of LeBron’s Cavaliers had been noted by basketball fans for some time but received an increased degree of attention when Donald Glover and the cast of “Saturday Night Live” roasted the duties of the “Other Cavaliers” over the weekend.
“I hold LeBron’s third and fourth cell phones,” said one of his spoofed teammates. “I run the pick-and-roll,” added another. “That’s when I pick up LeBron’s laundry and roll it on over to his house.”
On Monday night, while James and Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue both denied having seen the sketch according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, it felt like some of LeBron’s teammates might have been familiar with what was being said about them.
The trio of Love, Smith, and Korver came out firing, helping the Cavaliers take a 63-47 lead into halftime and leaving James as the team’s fourth-leading scorer at the break. Smith and Korver both combined to go 6-6 from beyond the arc in the first half, while Love was a defensive presence with two blocks and two steals to go along with his 11 points to start the game.
At the break, the Cavaliers even referenced the “Saturday Night Live” sketch in a post on Twitter.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 8, 2018
And the Raptors account responded in kind.
Worst @nbcsnl skit we've ever seen.
Y'all can chill out now, cool? https://t.co/RwxlOdDPrP
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 8, 2018
LeBron would continue his personal dominance in the second half, finishing the game with 29 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds, leading the Cavaliers in all three categories as Cleveland completed the sweep of the Toronto Raptors to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The quick series win will give James a bit of time to rest, and if his teammates can continue to contribute as they did on Monday night, James stands a strong chance of making it to his eighth straight NBA Finals.
More NBA Playoffs coverage:
- NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill explained why he likes the playoffs schedule that many think is too long
- The Warriors busted out their ‘Death’ lineup to start a game for the first time in 2 years, and it was devastating
- JJ Redick had to reschedule his GMAT exams after the Sixers made the playoffs
- Charles Barkley apologized to Draymond Green after speaking with an eclectic group of mentors
- The Cavs’ game plan includes $100 fines for players who commit a specific defensive mistake and it paid off in Game 1