TORONTO, April 20 (Ticker) -- With a postseason berth on the line, LeBron James did all he could but change the out-of-town scoreboard.

James fell a rebound shy of a triple-double in the first half, picked it up early in the third quarter and finished with 27 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 104-95 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

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Despite his effort, James was left to watch the scoreboard as the New Jersey Nets, who needed to lose in Boston for the Cavaliers to reach the playoffs for the first time in seven years, held on for a 102-93 win over the Celtics.

Cleveland and New Jersey both finished 42-40. The Nets earned the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by winning three of four meetings between the teams.

Thus ended a miserable second half of the season for Cleveland, which was 10-19 after the All-Star break and went from one-time Central Division contenders to also-rans.

"Being ahead of the Central Division for a couple of months and then just falling, the coach getting fired, and new ownership, and guys getting hurt, it's very disappointing," James said.

James had 14 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds at halftime and grabbed his 10th rebound just seconds into the third quarter to record his fourth career triple-double.

The 20-year-old superstar buried two 3-pointers to highlight a 9-0 run midway through the period, giving the Cavaliers their largest lead at 78-49. He finished with 14 rebounds and 14 assists.

"That was something tonight that I wanted to put us in a position to win," James said. "I thought I did that and we needed some help that we didn't get. I take full credit, I am the leader of this team. We didn't make the playoffs, so that's on me.

"You just have to come back next year with a sense of urgency and just don't take things for granted early on in the season that might come back and get you."

The Cavaliers likely will take little solace from a seven-game improvement from last season and their first winning campaign since 1997-98, the last season they made the playoffs.

Ira Newble scored a season-high 20 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas matched him for Cleveland, which defeated Boston on Tuesday against the same set of second-stringers the Celtics threw at the Nets.

"It's hard to put into words how much it (stinks) to be in the situation we are in right now," said Ilgauskas, who was a rookie on the Cavaliers' last playoff team in 1998.

"We have to look not only at the games that were lost coming up to the end, but also we let some games slip away throughout the season. That should be the lesson that we learn, that every game is important. The New York game (a home loss Thursday) was the back-breaker and really set us back."

Cleveland was kept informed on the bench of the score in the New Jersey-Boston game.

"We were conscious of the score the whole game and it was definitely disappointing coming down the stretch of this game when we learned the score," Newble said.

Jalen Rose scored 25 points for the Raptors, who lost their last four home games and finished 33-49 for the second straight season.

"Obviously we are disappointed in not going to the playoffs because that was one of our goals," Rose said.

"We all have to look in the mirror over the summer and decide how to get better and come back next year ready to make the playoffs," said Morris Peterson, who had 16 points and nine rebounds.

Omar Cook, who was signed by the Raptors to a 10-day contract April 9, recorded a career-high 19 points with nine assists off the bench.

"I think he has some potential," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "He played against a team that had to win the game, so it wasn't a meaningless game, and I thought he played well."