CLEVELAND, Dec. 11 (Ticker) --
Rookie Dajuan Wagner
scored nine of his
season-high 33 points during a run to close third quarter as the
Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors, 96-83.
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Wagner made a pair of breakaway dunks to highlight Cleveland's
16-7 spurt over the final five minutes of the third. The rally
gave the Cavaliers a 74-67 lead that grew as big as 15 points in
the final period.
"In the third quarter, we missed five open shots," Raptors coach
Lenny Wilkens said. "We had great looks, and if you don't make
those, then you allow the other team to get out and run. And
that's what the Cavaliers did."
Earlier in the third, Wagner set up a highlight-reel play with a
lob pass that Ricky Davis
slammed home. Davis, who went
scoreless in the first quarter, had 22 points.
"Coach (John Lucas) got on me this week in practice," Wagner
said. "He said that I have to be more aggressive. I took that as
Toronto lost for the fourth time in five games and played
without All-Star guard Vince Carter
, who is expected to miss the
next two weeks with a strained tendon in his knee. The Raptors
played for the second straight game without Antonio Davis
has a sore right knee.
"We're improving and obviously we didn't beat the Toronto team
with Vince Carter and Antonio Davis," Lucas said. "But we'll
take any gifts we can get and any more they want to give us."
started for Toronto with a sore ankle but could
only manage two points in 11 minutes. Lindsey Hunter
primary relief for Williams off the bench and posted seven
points, seven rebounds and four assists.
"Alvin is a warrior," Jerome Williams
said. "He's been battling
injuries himself lately and it all came to a head tonight. He's
one of those guys you truly miss out there."
led the Raptors with a season-high 24 points but
scored 16 of those in the first half. Jerome Williams added 17
points and eight rebounds for Toronto.
Toronto outrebounded Cleveland, 49-42, although the Cavaliers
got 11 rebounds from Tyrone Hill
and a career-high eight boards
from reserve guard Milt Palacio
. Cleveland's starting center,
, got only five rebounds.
The Cavaliers won for the second time in four games, marking
their best run since they took two of three in the first eight
days of the season.