Joe G's Running Game Blog
FINAL - TOR 98, CLE 91 ... The Raptors turned the tables on Cleveland in the second half in Toronto, clamping down defensively and fighting off a late Cavaliers run to snap the Wine and Gold's win streak at six. The third quarter proved to be the difference, with Toronto outscoring the Cavs, 37-21. Luol Deng led Cleveland, doubling up with 21 points and 11 boards. Kyrie Irving followed up with 17 points in the loss.
44.4, 4Q - TOR 93, CLE 87 ... After a quick steal and bucket by Deng, Jarrett Jacks hits a three-pointer; it's not over yet.
1:47, 4Q - TOR 93, CLE 80 ... Every time the Cavs have made a run, Toronto has answered; Raptors D in 2H has been as stifling as Cavs' was in 1H; Kyrie leads CLE, 17 pts, 9 asst; Deng, 15 pts, 9 reb; Tristan, 13 pts, 9 reb; Cavs shooting 37 pct FG.
End 3Q - TOR 76, CLE 65 ... Bad shooting from the floor and the stripe have gotten the Cavs in a hole after a strong 1H; Raptors outscore Cavs, 37-21, in 3Q, but Cavs get a Deng trey + much-needed stop to end quarter; Thompson, 13 pts, 8 reb; Deng, 12 pts , 7 reb; Kyrie, 11 pts, 8 asst; TOR now shooting 44 pct FG, CLE, 40 pct.
First half highlight - Anthony Bennett with the hometown slam ...
Watch Highlight: Bennett's Slam
4:12,3Q - TOR 62, CLE 56 ... Pretty rare to see Deng upset, but he took offense at being met at the rim after travel call; momentum going back and forth in 3Q, but TOR definitely heating up from the floor; Ross w/16 pts for TOR, Valanciunas, 13 pts; Tristan, 13 pts, 8 reb; Kyrie, 10 pts, 7 asst.
First half highlights ...
Watch Highlight: Cavs vs. Raptors - First Half
End 1H - CLE 44, TOR 39 ... Cavs clamped down on Toronto in 1H -- held Raptors to 33 pct FG; CLE getting contributions from everywhere - Kyrie, 8 pts, 6 asst; Deng, 7 pts, 7 reb; Tristan, 7 pts, 5 reb; Hawes, 5 pts, 4 reb; Anthony Bennett w/6 pts off bench in his return to Toronto; Cavs with 11 asst on 16 makes; playing with an edge without three main guys.
2:59, 2Q - CLE 38, TOR 30 ... Any thoughts that the bench might suffer without Miles and Dion have been silenced so far -- 18 pts already, Bennett (6), Hawes & Delly (5); Tristan Thompson leads CLE, 7 pts, 5 reb; Kyrie, 6 pts; TOR shooting just 30 pct FG.
End 1Q - CLE 22, TOR 16 ... Interesting first quarter in Toronto; Cavs hold Raptors to 23 pct FG, shoot 50 pct from the floor; Hawes hits a three on his first touch, has a nice baseline feed to Anthony Bennett; Cavaliers bench (Hawes, Delly, Bennett) - 5-6 FG.
3:40, 1Q - CLE 14, TOR 10 ... Hawes hasn't been shy in his first action as a Cav -- canning a three-pointer on his first touch, he's 2-2 FG, 5 pts, 1 blk off the bench.
Pregame - So many storyines going tonight in Toronto ...
First, it's Anthony Bennett's first game back in his hometown as the top pick in this June's draft. Bennett's been playing well lately, turning in a pair of double-doubles and grabbing nine or more boards in three of the last four. And Tristan Thompson will help him work through the first time back. The Toronto media still mobs Tristan every time he comes back.
Secondly, you have Spencer Hawes in his first game as a Cavalier. He was dealt to Cleveland at the Trade Deadline in exchange for Earl Clark, Henry Sims and a pair of second round picks. Hawes is having the best season of his career, averaging 13.0 points, 8.5 boards and 3.3 assists (most among all NBA centers) per game. It'll be interesting to see how he fits in and how the team fits with him. He can really space the floor for the Cavs, giving Kyrie, Deng, CJ and Dion all kinds of room to operate. And he can provide much-needed relief for Varejao, when he returns.
The third story is that a trio of the Cavaliers just mentioned didn't make the trip -- out tonight with injuries. Anderson Varejao (sore back), Dion Waiters (left knee hyperextension) and CJ Miles (sprained left ankle) are all OUT for tonight's game.
Finally, this is an opportunity to run their win streak to seven. But they'll have to do it against one of the surprise teams in the East this year, currently 3rd in the playoff picture. The Cavs come into tonight's game three games back.
Tonight's starters: G Jack, G Irving, F Deng, F Thompson, C Zeller