Cavs' Road Woes Continue in Toronto

Raptors Take Lead Late in First Half, Don't Look Back
Ron Turenne/NBAE/GettyImages

Wrap-Up -- After getting blown out on Monday night in Minnesota, the road-weary Cavaliers knew it wouldn’t get any easier on Thursday night in Toronto.

It didn’t.

The Wine & Gold are officially in the midst of a mid-season funk, giving up another season-high in points and taking one on the chin for the third time through the first four games of the trip – falling, 133-99, on Thursday night in Toronto.

Defense was the problem again in the lopsided loss. Cleveland gave up at least 30 points in all four quarters as the Raptors shot an even 50 percent from the floor, canned 18 triples and handed out 31 assists. Toronto outrebounded the Cavs, 63-35 – 18-9 on the offensive glass.

Offensively, the Cavs shot 38 percent from the field, got almost no production from their starting backcourt and canned just six three-pointers, half their season average.

Unlike Monday’s defeat in Minnesota, the Cavs came out swinging on Thursday. But the new-look Raptors – missing both Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry – went on a late first-quarter run and things simply snowballed from there.

Cleveland found itself down by 25 at intermission and by as many as 33 in the third. With another tough challenge to round out a brutal road stretch on tap on Friday night in Indiana, Coach Tyronn Lue gave all five starters the rest of the night off.

In terms of individual production, the Cavaliers got 26 points from LeBron James and not much else from their starters.

James went 9-for-16 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the stripe, adding three boards, two blocked shots and a steal.

The four-time MVP also finished with just a season-low single assist – but his fellow starters have to take some of the blame for that, with Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Isaiah Thomas struggling for the second straight game.

Love grabbed a team-high nine boards, but was just 2-of-8 from the floor for 10 points. Smith went scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting and is 0-for-12 from the floor over his last two. And Thomas is mired in a two-game slump of his own – going 2-for-15 for four points on Thursday night and 5-for-26 over his last two.

Jeff Green came off the bench to net 13 points on 4-for-9 shooting and Jae Crowder rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures, finishing with 11 points, two boards and a pair of steals, going 4-of-6 from the floor on the night.

Kevin Love


The Wine & Gold struggle from the floor against the Raptors.

The Raptors’ international big man duo dominated the Wine & Gold on Thursday night – with Jonas Valanciunas and Jakob Poeltl combining for 27 points and 30 boards. Second-year guard Fred VanVleet led seven Raptors in double-figures with 22 points off the bench – going 8-of-11 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from long-distance.

Turning Point -- When the turning point of a loss is late in the first quarter, that’s never a good sign. And that bad sign came on a seemingly harmless 7-0 run that turned a one-point Raptors edge into eight. Dwyane Wade scored on a layup to make the score 30-24 after one, but the Cavaliers weren’t the same team psychologically in the second period.

After a back-and-forth start to the second, Jeff Green’s turnaround got Cleveland to within 10 – 44-34 – with 7:52 to play before half. But that was as good as it would get for the Wine & Gold – with Toronto reeling off a 19-4 that essentially put the game out of reach.

The Raptors would eventually extend their lead to as large as 35 points in the second half. And for the second straight game, the Cavaliers never led at any point.

By the Numbers.833, .807 … Cavaliers free throw percentage on the night and on the season, respectively – the latter good for 3rd in the NBA; Cleveland has shot better than 80 percent from the stripe 22 times – including Thursday’s 25-of-30 mark – and better than 90 percent on eight occasions.

QuotableLeBron James, on the Wine & Gold’s recent woes …

”We’re just in a funk. We’re back to the beginning of the season and we just have to find a way to get out of it. It starts with us and it goes back to what we were doing when we were playing good ball. But it’s so fragile. I don’t know where it kind of went wrong or what happened, but we have to have to try to pick it back up and find it.”

Up Next -- The Cavaliers – who’ve played seven of their last eight games on the road dating back to their Christmas Day meeting against Golden State – don’t get much of a break in the finale of their current five-game roadie, squaring off for a Friday night meeting in Indiana, where they’ve dropped 13 of their last 15 regular season contests. The Wine & Gold return home after that, but even that homecoming is a tall order, taking on the aforementioned Warriors on MLK Day at The Q to tip off a much-needed three-game homestand.

Calls of the Game

#CavsRaptors Postgame: LeBron James - January 11, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Thursday's loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

Cavs at Raptors - January 11, 2018

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#CavsRaptors Postgame: LeBron James - January 11, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Thursday's loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
Jan 12, 2018  |  03:37

#CavsRaptors Postgame: Kevin Love - January 11, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Thursday's loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
Jan 12, 2018  |  04:08

#CavsRaptors Postgame: Isaiah Thomas - January 11, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media following Thursday's loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
Jan 12, 2018  |  04:34

#CavsRaptors Postgame: Coach Lue - January 11, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Thursday's loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
Jan 11, 2018  |  03:13

LeBron James Scores 26 vs. Raptors

LeBron James scores 26 points with three rebounds, two blocks, an assist and a steal versus Toronto.
Jan 11, 2018  |  01:33

GAME RECAP: Raptors 133, Cavaliers 99

Fred VanVleet scores 22 points, Jonas Valanciunas puts in 15 points and 18 rebounds as the Raptors take Cleveland 133-99.
Jan 11, 2018  |  02:00

LBJ Takes it Strong to the Tin

LeBron James blows past the Raptors defense and glides to the bucket for the layup.
Jan 11, 2018  |  00:09

Dwyane Wade with the Baseline Slam

Cedi Osman finds a cutting Dwayne Wade who deposits the baseline dunk.
Jan 11, 2018  |  00:09

LBJ Muscles Home the And-One

LeBron James takes the outlet pass and finishes through contact for the and-one opportunity in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Jan 11, 2018  |  00:24

Featured Highlight: I.T. Dimes TT

Isaiah Thomas attacks the defense in transition and drops it off to Tristan Thompson for the fastbreak flush.
Jan 11, 2018  |  00:10

KLove with the Pretty Outlet to LBJ

Kevin Love snatches the rebound and whips the long outlet pass to LeBron James for the easy layup.
Jan 11, 2018  |  00:11

#CavsRaptors Shootaround: LeBron James - January 11, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Thursday's shootaround at Air Canada Centre.
Jan 11, 2018  |  06:58

#CavsRaptors Shootaround: Coach Lue - January 11, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Thursday's shootaround at Air Canada Centre.
Jan 11, 2018  |  03:12

Cavs.com 1-on-1 with Tristan Thompson

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod sat down with Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson to talk about playing in his hometown of Toronto.
Jan 10, 2018  |  04:31

#CavsRaptors Practice: Isaiah Thomas - January 10, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media following Wednesday's practice at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Jan 10, 2018  |  04:46

#CavsRaptors Practice: Jae Crowder - January 10, 2018

Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder spoke with the media following Wednesday's practice at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Jan 10, 2018  |  04:36

#CavsRaptors Practice: Coach Lue - January 10, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Wednesday's practice at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Jan 10, 2018  |  05:26