Following the best season in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors find themselves on the wrong side of history.
The Raptors finished the regular season with a franchise-best 59 wins to secure the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. However, they ceded that edge in Game 1 of the East semifinals with a one-point overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Raptors proceeded to drop the next three contests, including a 128-93 defeat Monday in Cleveland to complete the series sweep.
|Game 1||CLE def. TOR 113-112 OT|
|Game 2||CLE def. TOR 128-110|
|Game 3||CLE def. TOR 105-103|
|Game 4||CLE def. TOR 128-93|
In bowing out in four games in the second round, Toronto becomes the first No. 1 seed in 49 years to fall victim to the broom before the conference finals. The only other team to suffer such a fate in a seven-game series was the Baltimore Bullets, who fell to the New York Knicks 4-0 in the 1969 Eastern Division semifinals.
|2018||CLE def. TOR||Eastern Conference semifinals|
|2015||CLE def. ATL||Eastern Conference finals|
|2003||NJN def. DET||Eastern Conference finals|
|2002||LAL def. NJN||NBA Finals|
|2001||LAL def. SAS||Western Conference finals|
|1995||HOU def. ORL||NBA Finals|
|1989||DET def. LAL||NBA Finals|
|1983||PHI def. LAL||NBA Finals|
|1977||POR def. LAL||Western Conference finals|
|1971||MIL def. BAL||NBA Finals|
|1970||LAL def. ATL||Western Division finals|
|1969||NYK def. BAL||Eastern Division semifinals|
It's worth noting that the last No. 1 seed to be swept in the playoffs was the Atlanta Hawks, who fell at the hands of Cleveland in the 2015 East finals. LeBron James owns the personal record for the most series sweeps in NBA history, now boasting a full dozen. He's won 10 straight playoff matchups against Toronto, dating back to 2016, having also swept the Canadian club last year.
The Raptors were the only team in the Association to finish the regular season in the top five in both offensive and defensive rating, with ESPN Analytics giving them an 88 percent chance of sending James and Co. packing before the series.
The Cavaliers, who claimed the No. 4 seed in the East, will face the winner of the Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers series in the Eastern Conference finals in their quest to return to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year.