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Wrap-Up – It’s a long season and the Cavaliers are eventually going to figure it out. But no team wants to drop one like Cleveland did to the Raptors at any point during the year – squandering an 18-point lead and losing by 17. That was the Wine and Gold’s fate on Saturday night as Toronto blew past the struggling Cavs in the final three quarters to take the 110-93 victory at The Q.
Kevin Love led five Cavaliers in double-figures, netting 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting, adding seven boards and a steal. Kyrie Irving followed up with 21 points and six assists. LeBron James notched 13 of his 15 points in the first three quarters, but – like most of the starters – and played less than six minutes in the fourth. LeBron doubled-up – adding 10 assists – joining Anderson Varejao, who posted his second double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 12 boards.
The only other Cavalier to tally double-figures was Tristan Thompson, who pitched in with 11 points and seven boards off the bench. But once again, Cleveland’s reserves were badly outplayed by their opponent, as Toronto’s Lou Williams came off the Raptors bench to lead all scorers with 36 points, going 9-for-19 from the floor and 15-of-15 from the stripe.
The Cavaliers actually out-shot the Raptors – 43 percent to 40 percent – and topped Toronto in rebounds, points-in-the-paint, in second-chance points and on the break. But the Cavaliers piled up the turnovers once again – committing 20 miscues that lead to 22 Raptors’ points. Toronto also went to the line 13 more times than the Cavs – and shot 91 percent when they got there. The Raptors four guards – Williams, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Greivis Vasquez – combined for 86 of Toronto’s 110 points.
Turning Point – The Cavaliers were cruising in the first period – turning in an opening quarter rivaled only by the one they posted one week earlier when they went a perfect 9-for-9 from long-distance against the Hawks. On Saturday, they shot 64 percent and held Toronto to 29 percent. They had 10 assists on 14 made baskets, Kevin Love was already in double-figures and led by 13 points – 34-21.
But the Raptors – who lead the league in double-digit comebacks – cut into Cleveland’s lead immediately in the second quarter, with the reserve backcourt combo of Williams and Vasquez leading a 17-2 run that got Toronto within a point with just over four minutes elapsed in the period.
The Cavs were down by just a bucket at intermission and tied the game midway through the third, but the Raptors closed the quarter on a 20-6 run, taking a two-touchdown lead into the final quarter and icing the win from there.
Scene and Heard – The Raptors traveled well on Saturday night, with a large Canadian contingent occupying a considerable swath of seats in the north end of the arena. They were loud, but were drowned out in the early-going with the Cavs in charge. But as the game went on, they turned up the volume.
By the Numbers – 50 … percent that the Cavs’ Big 3 – LeBron James (6-of-12 FG), Kyrie Irving (7-of-14) and Kevin Love (8-of-16) – shot the ball collectively and individually on Saturday night.
Quotable – Coach David Blatt, when asked if he can remember losses like this in his coaching career …
”No, I can’t. I haven’t had a losing record in my career and will not have one here.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers play a pair of home contests before the Thanksgiving holiday – welcoming the Orlando Magic to The Q on Monday night and the Wizards for an early-season rematch on Wednesday. They close out the month of November on Saturday night with their first meeting of the season against the Pacers and close out the homestand the following Tuesday against the Bucks.