Raptors Top Cavs at The Q
Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers had their full roster healthy for the first time in a month, and for the first three quarters against Toronto, it looked like the Wine and Gold would reverse recent fortunes. But the Raptors’ reserves took over in the fourth period – scoring 33 of Toronto’s 35 points and sending Cleveland to its ninth loss in the last ten games – 113-99 – on Tuesday night at The Q.Kyrie Irving led five Cavaliers in double-figures with 23 points, going 9-for-16 from the floor with a game-high seven assists. Anderson Varejao set career highs in free throw attempts (16) and makes (12) – doubling up with 22 points and 10 boards. Alonzo Gee was an efficient 6-of-8 from the floor for 15 points to go with four boards, a pair of assists and three blocks. C.J. Miles – who returned to his reserve role with Dion Waiters’ return – added 13 points off Byron Scott’s bench.
Turning Point – The Cavs trailed by just a deuce after three quarters and just five –83-78 – early in the fourth when Toronto’s John Lucas III was fouled by Daniel Gibson on a three-point attempt. Lucas hit the shot and sank the free throw to extend the Raptors’ edge to 87-78. Cleveland would get no closer the rest of the evening.
Game Ball – Anderson Varejao – Despite suffering a right knee contusion early in the affair, the Wild Thing battled with his normal ferocity and doubled-up for the 16th game this season, tops in the Eastern Conference. Andy kept rookie Jonas Valanciunas in check all night while scoring 22 points along with two assists a steal and a blocked shot.
By the Numbers – 17.6 … C.J. Miles’ scoring average over the past eight games, each of which he has notched double-figures.
Quotable – Kyrie Irving, trying to explain the Cavs’ recent losses …
“We’re not trying to make any excuses here, but when we play the lower echelon teams, we don’t come out like we want to. We’ve got to come out with a more focused attitude and a killer mentality. We’ve just got to find out what’s missing in those quarters that we’re having letdowns in.”
Seen and Heard – Section 131 at The Q was filled with the colors of the Lithuanian flag as a large contingent showed up to root for their countrymen: Linas Kleiza and Valanciaunas. (There were a couple “Ilgauskas” jerseys in the crowd as well.)
Up Next – The Cavaliers travel to Boston for the second half of the midweek back-to-back. They return home for a day off before another two-fer – on Friday night against the Pacers at The Q and in Milwaukee for a Saturday night matchup with the Bucks.