Notebook: Cavaliers 99, Raptors 98



Posted Jan 26, 2013 11:14 PM

By Duane Watson, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 99-98 on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre. The Cavaliers have now won four of their past five games, and were led by All-Star reserve Kyrie Irving's last second 28-foot, 3-point shot and game-high 32 points.

After a Raptors 50-46 halftime lead, the biggest lead of the quarter occurred near its close when the Raptors took an 8-3 run, wrapping the third frame at 75-66. However, Toronto was unable to maintain their lead as the Cavaliers (13-32) started the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run, regaining the lead 80-79. With less than two and a half minutes left in the game, the point differential was never greater than two points as both teams traded baskets. With 13 seconds left, Jose Calderon's floating lay up off the glass over Tristan Thompson gave the Raptors (16-28) a 98-96 lead. However, on Cleveland's next trip down the floor, Irving launched a long distance 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left on the clock for a 99-98 lead and the final basket of the game.

Recently acquired Mareese Speights and Wayne Ellington came off the bench and added points 17 and 12 points, respectively, for the Cavaliers. Toronto-native Thompson scored 14 points with eight rebounds. The Raptors, who have won two games of their last eight, were led by Amir Johnson's double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Ed Davis scored 16 points with nine rebounds. Alan Anderson came off the bench for Toronto to score 17 points.

QUOTABLE: "You make some game winners and you're going to miss some in your career, that's just the law of averages. That's kind of the even-keel attitude I've had in my short career."

-- Kyrie Irving on maintaining his composure with the game on the line

THE STAT: Three-point shooting. The Cavaliers shot 54.5 percent from beyond the arc, (6-for-11) including 4-for-4 in the fourth quarter.

TURNING POINT: With a close fourth quarter, the game came down to one shot. Irving watched the clock dwindle down with Anderson guarding him at the 3-point line, he shot the ball from 28-feet to watch it dance through the twine with 0.7 seconds left and a 99-98 point lead for the Cavaliers.

QUOTABLE II: "When he's aggressive everybody else on our team follows, that's why we've been able to win the last three games. Obviously, [it's] because of the way he's played, but [also] because of the way we've played as a team."

-- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott on Irving

HOT: Irving was hot when it mattered, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 3-point shot. He shot 13-for-26 and 3-for-5 from behind the arc. In his last two games he has scored 35 and 40 points, respectively.

GOOD MOVE: After only having Speights and Ellington in their second game for Cleveland, they are both contributing from the start. Scott's confidence in his new players to stick with them during crunch time paid off.

NOTABLE: The Cavaliers have now won three straight games and four of their last five, while the Raptors have lost six of their last eight. ... Daniel Gibson left the game for the Cavaliers in the third quarter with a right toe sprain. ... Toronto led by nine or more points in all four quarters.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors, Monday vs. Golden State, Wednesday @ Atlanta, Dallas, Friday vs. Clippers. For the Cavaliers, Tuesday vs. Golden State, Friday @ Detroit, Saturday vs. Oklahoma City.