The Raptors defence did a fantastic job of keeping the Cavaliers at arm's length in the first half until they finally found another gear offensively in the third quarter to pull away for good.
With the score 56-48, the Raptors rattled off a 21-7 run in the final 7:02 of the frame to give them a comfortable 20-point bulge they'd sustain the rest of the way. Based on how this team wants to play, win no. 1 was an encouraging confidence boost before a tough trip out West.
Linas Kleiza was the star of that decisive third quarter, exposing a mismatch against Jamario Moon to the tune of 13 of his 19 points on the night. Kleiza, who posted-up repeatedly during the run, was quick to credit his teammates and coach for recognizing his advantage.
"Coach called a couple of plays for me in the post and I was able to knock some shots down, get a lead and we played well from there," said Kleiza.
Reggie Evans continues to be a huge asset for this team in terms of his aggressive approach, his near constant focus on defence and his tremendous work on the glass.
Another 14 rebounds on Friday gives him a total of 30 through two games. Yes, he's going to be a liability on the floor in terms of producing offence by scoring himself, but his ability to grab offensive rebounds and generate extra offensive possessions is invaluable, especially next to a centre who struggles in that department.
"I think we were contesting very well, they hit a couple of three's late in the game there, but I thought we contested real well and our aggressiveness defensively was pretty good. We didn't make it easy for them to run their offence and that's what we try to do and hopefully that contributes to them not shooting the ball well."
- Jay Triano, on his team's defensive effort.
Mon., Nov. 1 vs. Kings
10 PM ET, Sportsnet One, FAN590
The Raptors try and ride the momentum of their first win out West as they kick off a tough four-game, seven-night road trip in Sacramento against DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans and the Kings. ARCO Arena has been less than kind to the Raptors, where they've posted a 2-14 record overall. Last season, the two teams split the season series, with each winning on their home floor.
|21.0||Scoring average for Andrea Bargnani through two games|
|2||Consecutive double-digit rebounding efforts for Reggie Evans|
|26-16||Fast break points favouring the Raptors|
|46-33||Rebounding totals favouring the Raptors|
|19||Turnover for each of the Raptors and Cavs|
|" We made mistakes but we never let them get into the game. We pressed, we denied the ball to some of their guys... it was really uncomfortable I think for them to play out there.''|
- Jose Calderon, on the full-game effort
|"Well, I thought they outplayed us. I thought they played harder that we did. I thought they wanted it a whole lot more than we did. ''|
- Cavs head coach Byron Scott, on his team's effort and energy.
|"It was crazy because our defence overshadowed our offence. In the past, it's strictly been a lot of offence."|
- Reggie Evans, on the Raptors' help defence