LeBron James is going back to a familiar place: The NBA Finals.
James scored 33 points on Friday night for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who beat the host Toronto Raptors 113-87 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. With the victory, the Cavaliers will make their second consecutive appearance in pro basketball’s championship round. Cleveland lost to Golden State in six games last season.
For James, it’s his sixth consecutive trip to the finals, including four with Miami.
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“I had to bring my game,” James said Friday. “I had to be in attack mode from the beginning.”
The Cavs will be seeking to end Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought, the longest by any city with at least three professional teams. No Cleveland team has won it all since the Browns won the NFL championship in 1964.
Here’s a look at James’ previous five trips to the NBA Finals:
2011: Dallas 4, Miami 2 – In James’ first season with the Heat, Miami went a Southeast Division-best 58-24. He averaged 23.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists in the postseason, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Mavericks from winning their only NBA title.
2012: Miami 4, Oklahoma City 1 – James helped Miami win its second championship and first since 2006 while denying the Thunder its first championship since the franchise moved from Seattle. He put up 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists in the series and was named Finals MVP.
2013: Miami 4, San Antonio 3 – The Heat came back from a 3-2 deficit to win back-to-back championships. James was awarded his second consecutive Finals MVP honor, averaging 25.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists in the seven games against the Spurs.
2014: San Antonio 4, Miami 1 – The Spurs avenged their loss from the previous season, blowing out the Heat in all four games to win their fifth NBA title. James led Miami with 28.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals.
2015: Golden State 4, Cleveland 2 – James returned to Cleveland and led the team to a second NBA Finals appearance, but the Warriors proved too strong for the banged-up Cavaliers, who played without Kevin Love and lost All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to injury in Game 1.
The Associated Press and the Bee Sports staff contributed to this report. Compiled by Noel Harris.