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Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James returns to Toronto: Remembering some of his biggest performances against the Raptors in the North

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Is this the year LeBron's dominance in Toronto comes to an end? (NBA.com Illustration)

We've seen and heard it all by now - the memes, the puns … "LeBronto." It's no secret: LeBron James has seemingly made it a point to try and dominate the Toronto Raptors franchise for the majority of his 16-year career.

The numbers support the above notion, too.

LeBron has faced the Raptors 66 times in his career - 52 times in the regular season and 14 times in the postseason; his record is 53-13.

Prior to Cleveland and Toronto's postseason meeting last year, it was said that things felt different - but the result was more of the same. James and the Cavs swept the Raptors for the second consecutive year, eliminating them from the postseason for the third straight time.

Year in and year out, LeBron served as the roadblock preventing the Raptors from reaching new heights in the postseason. That is, until he decided to head West and join the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018.

While last year seemed different, this year is different.

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Sure Not Now

Aside from the fact that it's the first time in four years that the Raptors won't see LeBron in the postseason, this Lakers team is less dangerous than the Cavs of years past, and this Raptors team has added a guy named Kawhi Leonard.

The first time these two teams met this season, Toronto dominated Los Angeles 121-107, and Kawhi didn't even suit up; James finished the night with 18 points and six assists in less than 30 minutes of action.

While plenty has changed, LeBron is still LeBron. In a "down" year marred by injury, he's averaging 27.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.0 rebounds, but he's in great danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2005.

All things considered, it's fair to question whether or not LeBron's dominance of the Raptors is set to come to an end.

As LeBron returns to Canada for the first time since the 2018 postseason, take a look back at some of his defining moments throughout the years at the building formerly known as the Air Canada Centre.

Mar. 20, 2005

Raptors 105, Cavaliers 98 | 56 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists

First career 50-point performance

Just 80 days after his 20th birthday, James exploded for 56 points (on 18-for-36 shooting) but the Cavs would ultimately fall to the Raptors.

Jan. 6, 2008

Cavaliers 93, Raptors 90 | 39 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists

Fourth quarter takeover

With his team down 13 points heading into the final frame, King James took over. LeBron scored 24 fourth-quarter points, as the Cavs outscored the Raptors 36-20 to escape the Air Canada Centre with a three-point win.

Feb. 26, 2010

Cavaliers 126, Raptors 118 (OT) | 36 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds

Clutch play results in a win

With Cleveland down two points, James tied things up with 13.9 seconds remaining in regulation. The Cavs would leave Toronto with an eight-point win, and LeBron scored or assisted on over half of the team's 40 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Nov. 5, 2013

Heat 104, Raptors 95 | 35 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists

The streak reaches a new plateau

Over five years later, LeBron's streak of games with 10+ points is at 922 games and counting…

May 27, 2016

Cavaliers 113, Raptors 87 | 33 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists

A dominant performance secures sixth-straight Finals appearance

The Cavs and Raptors went back-and-forth through the first four games of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals before LeBron and the Cavs dominated Game 5.

James saved his best performance for Game 6, as he and the Cavs would advance to the NBA Finals for the second straight year.

This series win set up Cleveland's first major professional title in over 50 years - the Cavs would win the NBA Finals in seven games against the 73-9 Warriors.

May 7, 2017

Cavaliers 109, Raptors 102 | 35 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists

35 points and a clean sweep

One year after eliminating the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavs swept their opponent in the East Semis. James was terrific all series, averaging 36.0 points to go along with 8.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists while shooting 57.3 percent from the field and 48.1 percent from 3-point range.

May 3, 2018

Cavaliers 128, Raptors 110 | 43 points, 14 assists, 8 rebounds

The fadeaway game

After an uncharacteristically poor shooting night in Game 1 (12-for-30), LeBron bounced back by scoring 43 points on 19-for-28 shooting in Game 2, including a number of ridiculous turnaround jumpers in the second half.

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