CLEVELAND, Feb. 8 (Ticker) --
After their newest All-Star set the pace
in the first quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers let their bench
lead them to victory.
scored 13 of his 23 points in the opening
period and reserve Robert Traylor
had a season-high 15 points
and career-best 13 rebounds as the Cavaliers cruised to a 104-91
triumph over the Toronto Raptors.
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Named to his second All-Star team as a reserve earlier in the
day, Ilgauskas once again stormed out of the gate against
Toronto, scoring three points during Cleveland's game-opening
7-0 run and adding six down the stretch to help the Cavaliers to
a 32-23 lead after one quarter.
"We're getting off to slow starts," said Toronto coach Sam
Mitchell, whose team has trailed after one period 11 straight
times. "You can't do it at home and you definitely can't do it
on the road. Our guys are still playing hard and they're still
playing together and they're still fighting. We've just got to
find better starts and play better."
Ilgauskas, who also represented the Eastern Conference in the
2003 All-Star Game, scored 12 points in the first quarter
against Toronto in a 105-97 victory on December 4.
"It feels great," Ilgauskas said. "It is a great honor, not
only for me but for my team. This acknowledges everyone. Two
guys going from Cleveland - so I'm going to go in there to enjoy
Cleveland coach Paul Silas turned to his bench in the second
period and was not disappointed as Traylor scored eight points
and Lucious Harris
added seven, helping build a 57-43 halftime
"The second unit came up very nicely there in the second
quarter," Silas said. "It didn't have to wear (the starters)
out. This is very important."
Traylor also handed out a career-high four assists.
"I felt like coming out of college, I can score the basketball,
I want to score the basketball, and when you want to score,
sometimes you forget to do the little things," said Traylor, who
is averaging nine points and nine rebounds in his last six
games. "I think at some point in time in my career, I kind of
lost focus on doing the little things that got me here, and now
I'm just getting back to doing it."
"Leadership, rebounding and scoring. The scoring is not always
there, but the defense is there every night from him," Cleveland
superstar LeBron James said. "He doesn't care about scoring,
but tonight he showed what he can do offensively."
James, who scored just four points in the first 12 minutes, was
scoreless in just two minutes during the second quarter.
Cleveland maintained a double-digit lead throughout the third
quarter and built it to as many as 24 points with 9:19
The Raptors used a 10-0 run to pull within 96-85 with 3:44 to
go, but the Cavaliers scored eight of the game's next 10 points
to prevent Toronto from gaining another comeback win.
Last week, the Raptors rallied from 19- and 22-point deficits to
record victories over Indiana and Washington, respectively.
They nearly came back from 25 points down Sunday against Dallas.
"It got kind of scary there in the fourth quarter," Silas said.
"We know the way they came back against Washington, from down 22
points," James said. "We had that in the back of our head.
they tried to make a run late in the fourth, but we withheld and
got a win."
The win raised the Cavaliers' home record to a conference-best
18-4. Just two seasons ago, Cleveland went 17-65.
"I watched a bunch of those games my 12th-grade year," James
said. "They weren't pretty. Last year, I made an impact, and
this year, we're making a bigger impact."
scored 17 points and James chipped in 15 and 11
assists for the Cavaliers, who improved to 2-0 on their
scored 21 points, Morris Peterson
added 16 and Milt Palacio
14 and nine assists for Toronto, which fell to 1-24 when
allowing 100 or more points.
Raptors guard Rafer Alston
played just eight minutes in the
first half, scoring five points, and was not on the bench
following the break.
"Rafer is struggling with some basketball things and I wasn't
planning on playing him in the second half," Mitchell said.
"And that's it. It's just some things that he and I have to
work out. Rafer is determined in his way and I'm determined in
There were unconfirmed reports that Alston and Mitchell had a
confrontation at halftime, with Alston leaving the arena.
"I'm not going to comment about anything except what happened
out there during the game," Rose said. "I'm pretty sure we're
going to have enough people with a big enough mouth to
eventually leak the story about what happened, but I'm not going
to be the person and today is not going to be the day."