League scoring leader LeBron James is enjoying a brilliant start to the season, but it hasn't led to much success for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James looks to help the Cavaliers start turning around their home woes on Saturday when they face the Toronto Raptors, who have lost their last five games in Cleveland.
After back-to-back 50-win seasons, the defending Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers (6-6) have gotten off to a mediocre start. They have won back-to-back games only once - on Nov. 9 and 11 - and the second of those wins marked the only time this season they have been above .500 (4-3).
A big reason for their struggles is a result of their play at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland is off to its worst home start since 2002-03, dropping three of its first five home games. Last season, the Cavs won 15 of their first 18 at home and didn't suffer their third home loss until Dec. 21.
Cleveland will try to carry some momentum from Wednesday's 97-86 victory at Minnesota, having received another superb outing from James.
The 22-year-old star matched his season high with 45 points, reaching 40 for the second time in three games. James, averaging 30.9 points this season, also had eight rebounds and five assists.
James has been playing at a torrid pace lately, averaging 39.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.8 assists in his last four games.
"I don't know how he keeps doing what he does," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "I'm watching him, and I get exhausted. That's how good it is to be able to do that night after night after night."
James looks for another strong outing versus the Raptors after averaging 30.3 points, 6.5 assists and 6.3 rebounds against them last season as the Cavs won three of four meetings. He also had the highest scoring game of his NBA career against Toronto on March 20, 2005, with 56 points in a 105-98 loss.
Toronto has dropped five straight in Cleveland, losing by an average of 11.0 points, since a 97-86 win on April 6, 2004.
Although the Raptors (6-6) have had little success in Cleveland lately, they're off to their best road start in franchise history, winning four of six away from home.
Toronto is coming off a 95-89 win at Memphis on Wednesday to snap a four-game losing streak at FedEx Forum.
The Raptors shot just 39.1 percent from the field, but made 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) from 3-point range.
Toronto is among the league leaders in 3-point shooting at 43.7 percent and is even better on the road, hitting an NBA-best 50.4 percent.
"It's no secret we love the 3-point ball," said Chris Bosh, who has only one 3-point attempt this season but is one of 10 Raptors to make one. "If we have open shots, we're going to keep shooting, no matter where it is on the court. We have enough 3-point shooters. We just tell our guys: 'Just stay in there. Keep your feet set. Shoot it with confidence, and eventually, it will start falling.'"
Andrea Bargnani, last season's top overall draft pick, has made a team-high 24 3-pointers in 50 attempts while Anthony Parker and Carlos Delfino have hit 19 apiece. Offseason acquisition Jason Kapono is 16-for-33 (48.5 percent) from beyond the arc after leading the league last season in 3-point accuracy at 51.4 percent.
Bosh is not a regular 3-point threat, but is the team's scoring leader (17.9 ppg) and has been hot lately with averages of 21.3 points and 14.0 rebounds over the last three games. The two-time All-Star averaged 23.0 points and 10.5 boards against the Cavs last season.
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