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Raptors Come Up Just Short Against Cavaliers

Related: Box Score | Photos | Game Rap: Raptors Can't Close Out Cavs
Video: Game In Six | Triano | Turkoglu | Jack | Evans
More Video: Bargnani Reverse Slam
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February 26, 2010

TORONTO (CP) -- Cavaliers superstar LeBron James tied the game twice in the final 35 seconds despite playing with a sore leg to send his team into overtime against the Toronto Raptors.

He then went to work in another way, earning the assist on two of the three-pointers that propelled Cleveland to a 126-118 victory over Toronto on Friday night.

It's the way James plays the game that makes him such a devastating opponent. He had three of his nine assists in overtime and scored 34 of his 36 points in regulation.

It turned out to be a lethal combination. ``We pay attention to LeBron and try to show him bodies, and they swing it and find threes,'' Raptors head coach Jay Triano said.

``That is kind of their game right now. If he is not taking it all the way to the basket and you don't put a guy there, he is going to lay it up and if you do, then he is going to swing it and find guys for open looks and they did it three times in a row to start the overtime and that put us in a hole.''

Mo Williams, who scored 22 points in the game, opened the overtime with two successive three-pointers. Former Raptor Anthony Parker had the assist on Williams's first three-pointer and James had the assist on his second.

After Toronto's Jarrett Jack made a pair of free throws, Parker hit another three-pointer on an assist from James and the Cavaliers were in command 120-113.

Antawn Jamison also scored 22 for the Cavaliers and Delonte West had 15. Jack and Andrea Bargnani each scored 24 for Toronto and Hedo Turkoglu scored 18 for the Raptors who are 2-2 without injured star Chris Bosh.

Despite James' heroics, the Raptors who trailed by seven with 3:39 to play in regulation time, came back to take the lead twice in the final minute.

They had a chance to win it in the final seconds but Turkoglu missed a 26-foot jumper with 1.9 seconds to play with the score 111-111.

``I was going to come hard and look for the corner,'' Turkoglu said. ``I couldn't see anyone open. I looked at the time and maybe I should have gone earlier. But it is hard to drive and kick. In that situation you look for the best (shot) and I tried to find someone but I couldn't find anybody. I looked at the time, there was like four, five or three seconds, something like that, so it was a hurried shot for me.''

Triano said it was a play Toronto had run early in the game.

``We had a pretty good look at it and we thought we could do that again,'' he said. ``It was a very similar to the play they had with LeBron where you turn the corner and have an open side. I guess (Turkoglu) didn't feel like he could get all the way to the basket so he settled for the jump shot, which he is equally efficient (doing) as he is taking it to the basket.''

Both teams had injury problems to big men. Bosh has a sprained left ankle and Cleveland's Shaquille O'Neal was out after suffering a sprained finger in Thursday's victory over the Boston Celtics.

James hurt his leg near the basket with 8:54 to play in the first quarter and was in pain but was able to continue after treatment on the court and a timeout.

``A knee to the thigh and then I fell on the basketball,'' James said. ``Not a good day for me, it is sore.''

``LeBron gutted it out with a sore leg the whole game,'' Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown said. ``It was terrific to see him gut it out for us and he made some big plays down the stretch.''

Notes: Cavaliers centre Anderson Varejao fouled out with 2:12 to play...Bargnani had one blocked shot in Wednesday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and took a string of 15 successive games with at least one block into Friday's game but the streak ended against the Cavaliers....The Raptors next game is Sunday at Oklahoma City...The teams split their first two meetings - the Raptors won 101-91 on Oct. 28 at ACC in the season opener and the Cavaliers won 108-100 in Cleveland on Jan. 19.