Notebook: Raptors 113, Cavaliers 99



Posted Dec 19, 2012 12:26 AM

Brian Dulik, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Point guard Jose Calderon scored a season-high 23 points and small forward Alan Anderson added 18 points off the bench as the Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-99 at Quicken Loans Arena. Center Amir Johnson added 17 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Raptors, who snapped an 11-game road losing streak. Point guard Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 23 points and seven assists, while center Anderson Varejao collected 22 points and 10 rebounds. Toronto has won three games in a row for the first time since April 1-4, 2012.

QUOTABLE: "At some point, you get tired of getting your butt kicked on the playground every day. Sooner or later, you've got to man up and buck up. The only way to do that is through hard playing, hard work and togetherness."

-- Raptors coach Dwane Casey

THE STAT: Led by Anderson and Johnson, Toronto's five bench players outscored the Cavaliers' reserves 59-21. Point guard John Lucas III had 11 points and five assists, power forward Linas Kleiza scored 10 points, and shooting guard Terrence Ross chipped in three points. "We had good chemistry and a good pace, so we wanted to keep it going," Lucas said. "In my case, (Alan) had the hot hand, so I just wanted to milk him." In the fourth quarter, Anderson, Kleiza, Johnson and Lucas combined for 33 of the Raptors' 35 points, while Cleveland's entire team scored 23.

TURNING POINT: After the Cavaliers pulled within 83-78 with 10:30 remaining, Lucas converted a rare four-point play to start Toronto's game-clinching run. The Raptors outscored Cleveland 21-11 over the next 5 1/2 minutes -- with Johnson leading the way with eight points and Lucas adding six. "We're out there having fun and playing hard," said Johnson, who made 6-of-7 field goals and 5-of-5 free throws in 29 strong minutes. "At the defensive end, everything was clicking, as well. It was a great effort by our whole team."

QUOTABLE II: "We've lost 19 games, so another loss wouldn't have meant much, but we know we can do much better. At the end of the day, basketball is a team sport. It's about doing it the right way and getting everyone involved."

-- Calderon

HOT: The Raptors are 4-0 in Cleveland since LeBron James left the Cavaliers in July 2010. ... Anderson was 5-for-7 on 3-pointers, including 3-for-3 in the fourth quarter. ... Toronto shot 52 percent from the floor, while Cleveland made 51.4 percent of its field goal attempts. ... Varejao set career highs in free throws made (12) and attempted (16) despite suffering a bruised right knee late in the first quarter. The mop-topped Brazilian is in his ninth NBA season, all of them with the Cavaliers. Varejao also posted his Eastern Conference-high 16th double-double.

NOT: The Cavaliers have lost four straight games, making them 3-19 since Nov. 7. ... Cleveland power forward Luke Walton played four minutes, committing three fouls without a point or rebound. ... Cavaliers small forward Omri Casspi returned after missing three games with the stomach flu, but did not play. ... Cleveland point guard Jeremy Pargo, who has started 11 games, was a healthy inactive. ... Raptors starting forwards Ed Davis and Mickael Pietrus combined to play 25 scoreless minutes in the first half. ... Toronto is 2-14 on the road this season.

QUOTABLE III: "We're not making 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."

-- Irving

GOOD MOVE: Casey encouraged Calderon to be more aggressive looking to score, which the Spaniard did against Irving. Calderon made 10 of 15 shots from the field, going 3-for-6 on 3-pointers, and repeatedly burned the Cavaliers when they were late on switches. "Jose's heart is always in the right place, running the show and helping his teammates, which is why I love him," Casey said. "But he's also one of our best shooters, so when he comes off a screen, I want him to be greedy."

BAD MOVE: Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters (left ankle sprain) was completely out of sync in his first game since Dec. 1 against Portland. The fourth overall pick in the NBA Draft had eight points, four assists, three turnovers and four fouls in 28 minutes. "Shots that I usually hit weren't going down, so I tried to impact the game by just driving," said Waiters, who was 4-for-13 from the field. "It was just good to get back out there and get back up and down the court."

NOTABLE: Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said he was "still concerned" about Varejao's health, even though he returned to the court shortly after landing hard on his right knee. "Even though he played, we've got a flight, we've got another game tomorrow," Scott said. "We'll see how he feels." ... Cleveland shooting guard Daniel "Boobie" Gibson sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter and said he was unsure if he would play Saturday in Boston. ... Irving, power forward Tristan Thompson and center Tyler Zeller continue to play with protective masks to protect their facial fractures for the Cavaliers. ... Raptors small forward Landry Fields (right elbow surgery) was active for the first time since Nov. 7 at Dallas, but did not play for the 21st game in a row. Casey said he plans on "working him in slowly." ... Toronto played without center Andrea Bargnani (right elbow ligament tear, right wrist strain) and point guard Kyle Lowry (right triceps tear).

UP NEXT: For the Raptors, Wednesday vs. Detroit, Friday vs. Orlando, Dec. 26 @ San Antonio. For the Cavaliers, Wednesday @ Boston, Friday vs. Indiana, Saturday @ Milwaukee.