The Raptors trailed by as many as 22 points, but had it down to 88-82 with 5:55 to play in the fourth. The Cavs came out of a timeout hot and led by Baron Davis made a series of key buckets down the stretch to increase that lead and pull away for the win.
What truly did the Raptors in was another slow start in their fourth game in five nights. Cleveland was intent to deny Toronto inside early and force them to beat them with jump shots and the Raptors struggled. The Cavs were sharing the ball, scoring at will in the paint and used a couple of runs to build a 20-point lead by halfime.
Baron Davis did an excellent job leading the Cavs, scoring 19 points and doling out 12 assists in 30 minutes of work. Davis was content to set up teammates with eight dimes in the first quarter, but with the Raptors making a push in the fourth, the veteran turned to his scoring -- hitting three crucial jump shots down the stretch to keep the Raptors at bay.
"He's a natural born leader," said Byron Scott post-game. "He's going to get on guys, get guys where they need to be. He called a couple of huddles just to get guys straight on what we were doing on both ends of the floor and that's invaluable."
Jerryd Bayless came off the bench for the first time in four games, but stil extended his recent run with a 28-point performance, 21 of which came in the second half. On a night where scoring was out of the lineup and several Raptors were struggling offensively, Bayless was aggressive and looking to score.
"Well, honestly, I’m just trying to finish this season as strong as possible," said Bayless. "I’m just trying to finish off the season positive and just play hard and have fun with it."
"When we have our two starting forwards out and our best scorer off the bench out, it’s tough to manufacture points. Guys who have stepped up lately for us didn’t score the ball well for us and we’re not that hard to figure out. If you look at our roster and you don’t have Andrea (Bargnani), you take DeMar (DeRozan) out of it and they leaned all over him. They made it tough for him to get catches and made it tough for him to score. We just didn’t have enough guys score early in the game."
- Jay Triano, on a tough night offensively
Fri., Apr. 8 vs. 76ers
7:00 PM ET, Sportsnet One, FAN590
The Raptors end their season series with the Sixers on Friday with the ability to affect their playoff seeding as the season winds down. The Knicks defeated the Sixers Wednesday to overtake them by a half game for sixth in the East. The Raptors hold a 2-1 season series lead with one win at ACC and the other in Philadelphia.
|9||Assists for Jose Calderon in his return from injury|
|54-26||Bench scoring favouring the Raptors|
|15-8||Second-chance points favouring the Cavs|
|15||Games with 10+ rebounds for Reggie Evans this season|
|17||Cavaliers points scored off 12 Raptors turnovers|
|"We had a lot of players out. I’m not saying that was my mentality at the start of the game but it just went that way."|
- Reggie Evans on his season-high 15 points
|". I think he’s enjoying the fact he’s kind of the older statesmen right now and he’s able to lend some of his expertise with those guys, and like I said, they listen."|
- Cavs head coach Byron Scott on Baron Davis
|"Sometimes we just come out and we start slow and I think any team in the NBA is capable to beat any team so we put ourselves in a 25 point hole in the first half and it is tough to come back from that."|
- Jerryd Bayless, on slow starts