Murray, Snow Lift Cavaliers Past Raptors
Cleveland 106, Toronto 99
CLEVELAND, March 7 (Ticker) -- Superstar LeBron James didn't pile up the points, so his supporting cast supplied the scoring punch.
Ronald Murray scored 24 points and Eric Snow added season highs of 14 and 11 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their third straight game, a 106-99 triumph over the Toronto Raptors.
"It was awesome," James said. "I think we've got that, 'playing down to the level of the competition,' behind us. It's time for us to play with the big boys now."
"LeBron didn't shoot the ball extremely well tonight, but he stayed in the game mentally," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said.
Cleveland held a six-point edge at halftime and extended its advantage to 73-61 as James found Murray for a wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing at the 6:48 mark.
"It's all starting to come together for me as far as me learning the system," said Murray, who averaging 13.3 points in seven contests since being acquired from Seattle. "It wasn't that hard of an adjustment. I'm a quick learner and the coaches are doing a good job of working with me after practice and before practice."
"I thought we stopped running in the third quarter and we just missed some shots," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.
All-Star Chris Bosh, who scored 28 points, drained a baseline jumper and Mike James scored on a floater off the glass as the Raptors cut the deficit to 89-83 with just under nine minutes remaining.
"Even though LeBron didn't have a good offensive night, I think he did other things well," Mike James said. "But his team stepped up."
Toronto had a chance to tie the game, but Bosh missed a pair of foul shots with 6:17 left. On the ensuing possession, Murray hit a mid-range jumper, giving the Cavaliers a 91-87 bulge.
"He (LeBron James) has to have confidence in his teammates that we are going to pick him up," said Murray, who made 8-of-16 shots.
LeBron James found a slicing Anderson Varejao, who converted a three-point play to help Cleveland rebuild its lead to 104-94 with 50 seconds left.
"LeBron got off to a slow start (tonight), and it's good to see that we helped him out," Snow said.
Snow is averaging 11 points and more than eight assists in his last three games.
"I'm trying to be assertive," he said. "The coaches are giving me the chance to initiate some plays on my own and are putting the ball in my hands more."
Drew Gooden had 16 points and seven rebounds and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 15 and seven for the Cavs, who shot 48 percent (38-of-78) and held a 46-30 advantage in points in the paint.
Mike James scored 31 points and Matt Bonner contributed 15 off the bench for Toronto, which shot 49 percent (37-of-75) but lost for the seventh time in eight games.