Cavs Come Home, Tame Toronto
Wrap-Up – The hits just kept coming for the reinvigorated Cavaliers, who returned from a successful three-game to top the Raptors on Wednesday night at The Q – overcoming an early two-touchdown deficit and running away with the 103-92 win.
Playing their second straight game without All-Star guard, Kyrie Irving – still sidelined with a sore/hyperextended right knee – and playing their fourth game in five nights, the Wine and Gold fell behind early. But Cleveland took the lead early in the second period on C.J. Miles’ three-pointer and never looked back. The Raptors got to within a bucket in the third and were within three late in regulation, but the Cavs never relinquished the lead and eventually closed the game on a 10-2 run.
Dion Waiters led the Cavaliers in scoring once again, netting 23 points on 7-for-16 shooting, adding six assists. In his second straight start, Shaun Livingston tied season highs in points (15) and assists (6) and Tristan Thompson pitched in with 14 points off the bench. Every reserve besides Luke Walton finished in double-figure scoring, but Walton still tied season-highs in assists (7) and rebounds (7).
Turning Point – DeMar DeRozan’s jumper got the Raptors to within a deuce late in the third quarter, 73-71. But Tristan Thompson keyed a 7-0 run – scoring on a runner and canning four straight free throws – to end the period. The Cavs would go on to score the next six points of the fourth quarter to give them plenty of breathing space to claim their fourth victory in five games since the All-Star Break.
Game Ball – Cavs Second Unit – Once again, Byron Scott’s reserves were the difference in the ballgame. The quartet of Walton, Wayne Ellington, Marreese Speights and C.J. Miles combined to outscore Toronto’s bench, 39-8. They outrebounded them, 21-2, and handed out nine assists to Toronto’s four helpers.
By the Numbers – .611 … Cavaliers’ record (11-7) since January 16. At 7-5 in February, the Wine and Gold enjoyed their best month of the year.
Quotable – Dion Waiters, on the Cavaliers’ youngsters’ improvement …
”We’re learning day-by-day, game-by-game, how to finish out games. We’re just sticking to our principles and are having each other’s backs and just playing basketball.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers continue their five-game homestand on Friday night when they welcome Blake Griffin and the Clippers on Friday night. Next week, they welcome they welcome the Knicks on Monday (Kyrie Irving Bobblehead Night), the Jazz on Wednesday and the Grizzlies on Friday.