Cavaliers Outlast Raptors at The Q
Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers were dynamic offensively in building a big lead through the first three quarters – shooting nearly 60 percent from the floor en route to a 21-point advantage. In the fourth, they used their stingy late-game defense – holding the Raptors to one field goal in the final 6:28 – toppling Toronto to take their second straight win, a 102-100 thriller on Tuesday night at The Q.
In his fifth straight start, Dion Waiters led six Cavaliers in double-figures with 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting, adding seven assists to go with three boards, a steal and a pair of blocked shots. Luol Deng followed up with 19 points, six boards and seven helpers of his own. Tristan Thompson doubled-up with 15 points and 13 boards and Spencer Hawes chipped in with 11 points, seven boards and a game-high three blocks.
Jarrett Jack followed up a stellar performance in New York with a rock-solid floor game on Tuesday, netting 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go with five boards, five assists, two steals and a block – committing just a single miscue in 37 minutes of action. Anderson Varejao came off the bench to notch 11 points and eight boards.
The Cavaliers shot 51 percent from the floor and had 27 assists on their 36 makes. Cleveland out-rebounded the Raptors, 49-38 – besting them in the paint, 44-38, and on the fast break, 12-5. They held Toronto to just 26 percent shooting in the fourth quarter.
Turning Point – After building a 21-point lead, Toronto cut Cleveland’s edge to just seven, 88-81, heading into the final period. The Raptors continued to chip away until Greivis Vasquez gave them a one-point lead when he canned a three-pointer with 6:45 to play. On the very next possession, Jarrett Jack hit an 18-foot jumper to give Cleveland the lead right back. From that point forward, neither team was particularly efficient offensively, but the Cavaliers were able to completely shut down Toronto’s attack. Amir Johnson scored on a tip-in with 34 seconds to play, and that was the Raptors’ only made basket in the second half of the final period.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – Going against his hometown team – not to mention Jonas Valanciunas, the man drafted one spot after him in 2011 – Thompson always seems to have a little extra juice. He only attempted four field goals on Tuesday, canning three of them while going 9-of-10 from the stripe. He led both teams with 13 boards despite battling foul trouble most of the night. Tuesday marked Thompson’s team-leading 31st double-double of the year. Thompson has also notched double-digit boards in three of his last four outings.
By the Numbers – 300 … Victories that Mike Brown has tallied as head coach of the Wine and Gold. He joins Bill Fitch (304) and Lenny Wilkins (316) as the only Cavalier head coaches with at least 300 victories.
Quotable – Luol Deng, on getting the win despite some tense final moments …
”Now (we’ve won) two in a row, that’s over with. We have to focus on tomorrow. The situation we’re in, we don’t have time to be negative about giving up that kind of lead. At the end of the day, you look back and it’s a win, not how you won it.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers hit the road for a pair – traveling to Detroit for the second-half of their mid-week back-to-back on Wednesday night, followed by a trip to Brooklyn for a Friday night meeting with the Nets. On Sunday, it’s back at The Q for a Central Division matinee against the Pacers to wrap up the month of March. Cleveland starts the month of April on the road – taking on the Magic and the Hawks.
Watch Highlights: Cavs 102, Raptors 100