King James targets six of the best for his Cavaliers

Sat May 28, 2016 12:15am EDT
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(Reuters) - LeBron James is planning to "appreciate" a sixth consecutive NBA Finals appearance after the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame the Toronto Raptors on Friday to seal victory in their Eastern Conference final series.

In his second season back with his hometown team, James scored 33 points as the Cavaliers thumped the Raptors 113-87 in Toronto to seal a 4-2 victory in the best-of-seven series.

He played in four straight finals with the Miami Heat, winning two championships, in 2012 and 2013, before returning to Cleveland.

"This is my sixth straight and it means everything," the four-times MVP said in a courtside interview.

"I don't think last year I appreciated it enough getting back to the finals. This year I'm going to appreciate this."

James was referring to the 2015 Finals, when he almost single-handedly carried the injury-riddled Cavaliers to an unlikely triumph over Golden State.

However, without forward Kevin Love and guard Kyrie Irving, the other two members of Cleveland's "Big Three", the Cavaliers were severely undermanned, falling in six games.

Though James, 31, has two championships, the city of Cleveland is still yearning for a first NBA title.

He believes that with Love and Irving healthy, the chances of ending the drought are far greater this year.   Continued...

May 23, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;   Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after dunking for a basket against Toronto Raptors in the second quarter of game four of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports