Cavaliers cruise to victory over Raptors in conference semis opener
LeBron James rises for a shot as Demarre Carroll looks on. AP

THE Cavaliers were quick off the blocks and the Toronto Raptors simply could not catch up, the titleholders cruising to a 116-105 victory in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday in Cleveland (Tuesday, Manila time).

LeBron James showed the way expected as the Cavaliers took control with a 30-18 first quarter and except for a brief second-quarter slip, were never threatened.

Game Two of the best-of-seven series is on Wednesday.

James scored 35 on 13 of 23 shooting and also had 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

Kyrie Irving came up with 24 points and 10 assists, while Kevin Love scored 18 and was a rebound short of a double-double.

Tristan Thompson delivered 11 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland.

Toronto hit the first basket, a triple by Kyle Lowry, but that was the only time they led.

Lowry finished with 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting, while Demar DeRozan went 7 for 16 and wound up with 19 points.

Serge Ibaka scored 15, while PJ Tucker came off the bench to post a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph