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Top 5 LeBron James performances against the Toronto Raptors

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with a fan after scoring against the Toronto Raptors.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with a fan after scoring against the Toronto Raptors.
ANALYST
Modified 03 Apr 2021
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When LeBron James moved to the Western Conference to sign with the LA Lakers in 2018, no team in the Eastern Conference was happier than perhaps the Toronto Raptors.

There was probably relief among Raptors fans seeing James leave the East and not having to face the prospect of watching their team play against him in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

5 Greatest performances from LeBron James against the Toronto Raptors

James dominated the Raptors in 2016, 2017, and 2018 NBA Playoffs as well as the regular season. James has a 41-14 record against the Raptors in the regular season and a 12-2 record in the postseason.

In 55 regular-season games, James averages 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against the Raptors with 50/31/77 shooting splits. In the NBA Playoffs, James averages 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists per game with 58/35/70 shooting splits into 14 games.

In this article, we will take a look at LeBron James' five greatest performances against the Toronto Raptors, including regular-season and postseason games.


#5 2004-05 NBA regular season

Stats: 56 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists

James in 2005.
James in 2005.
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In only his second season in the NBA, LeBron James established himself as one of the best players in the game. On March 20th, 2005, he showed Toronto Raptors' fans a small sample of what was going to hit them in years to come.

James scored 50 points in a game for the first time in his illustrious career against the Toronto Raptors on the road. The 20-year-old scored 56 points on 50% shooting from the field and beyond the arc and went 14/15 from the free-throw line.

James also played the entire 48 minutes, but the Cleveland Cavaliers were beaten 105-98 by the Toronto Raptors.


#4 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals - Game 2

Stats: 39 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the 2017 NBA Playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers went 12-1 against teams in the Eastern Conference to reach the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors.

On his way to an eighth NBA Finals appearance and his seventh straight, James and the Cavs faced the Toronto Raptors in the second round.

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In Game 2, James scored 39 points despite taking just 14 shots. He made 15 of his 21 free-throw attempts to lead the Cavs to a comfortable 125-103 win.


#3 2016 Eastern Conference Finals - Game 6

Stats: 33 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

To advance to his sixth consecutive NBA Finals, LeBron James put in an extraordinary performance in Game 6 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals.

Cleveland took the first two games of the series before the Raptors came back and tied the series in Toronto. James and the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated Game 5 at home and returned to Toronto with a chance to seal the series.

In Game 6, James scored 33 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out six assists to seal the deal in Cleveland's favor. The Cavaliers went on to beat the Golden State Warriors in the stunning 2016 NBA Finals led by James and Kyrie Irving.


#2 2018 Eastern Conference Semifinals - Game 3

Stats: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists

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LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after his game-winning shot against the Toronto Raptors.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after his game-winning shot against the Toronto Raptors.

During the 2018 NBA Playoffs, LeBron James went on one of the greatest postseason runs of his career. And yet again, the Toronto Raptors were on the receiving end of James' greatness.

The top-seeded Raptors had hopes of finally getting past Cleveland and making it to the NBA Finals, but LeBron James had other ideas. Cleveland took victories in the first two games at Toronto on the back of a couple of stellar performances from James.

The Toronto Raptors fought hard in Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena but couldn't contain James, who added 38 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out seven assists. He sealed the victory with a buzzer-beater with the game tied at 103.


#1 2018 Eastern Conference Semifinals - Game 2

Stats: 43 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists

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LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the 2017-18 NBA campaign, the Toronto Raptors were the best team in the Eastern Conference during the regular season. The Cleveland Cavaliers, on the other hand, struggled for consistency with several roster changes and plenty of locker-room drama.

However, in the NBA Playoffs, James took over and led the team to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season. In the second round of the playoffs, James completely dominated the Toronto Raptors.

After winning the first game of the series in overtime, the Cavaliers took a commanding 2-0 lead on the back of James' 43 points and 14 assists in Game 2.

James went 19/28 from the field and scored 15 points in the third quarter alone. Overall, James scored 27 points in the second half and the Cavaliers outscored the Raptors 67-47 in that stretch.


Also read: 5 NBA players likely to dominate the MVP scene over the next decade

Published 03 Apr 2021, 06:44 IST
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