Game Preview: Raptors vs Cavs
Toronto Raptors (48-19) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (16-50)
When: Monday, March 11th, 7 P.M. ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, Fred VanVleet (left thumb ligament) is out. For the Cavaliers, Matthew Dellavedova (concussion), John Henson (left wrist surgery), Larry Nance Jr. (Rib contusion), JR Smith (not with team) and Tristan Thompson (left foot soreness) are all out.
- Postseason clinched: The Toronto Raptors officially clinched a playoff berth on Saturday night. A 131-114 Milwaukee Bucks victory over the Charlotte Hornets clinched the berth for the Raptors prior to their game in Miami on Sunday. The Raptors are currently second in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Milwaukee Bucks by two games. Toronto is the second team in the league to have clinched a postseason spot, while Milwaukee was the first.
- Recent history: This is the final meeting between the Cavaliers and Raptors this season. Toronto owns a 3-0 lead in the season series, most recently earning a 126-110 victory at Scotiabank Arena on Dec. 21 behind a 37-point performance from Kawhi Leonard and a 21-point performance from OG Anunoby. Leonard was 12-for-16 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the free-throw line. The Raptors won despite being without Kyle Lowry (sore left thigh), Serge Ibaka (sore right knee) and Danny Green (sore left knee), as Pascal Siakam had a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double and Fred VanVleet contributed 14 points. Jordan Clarkson led the Cavaliers with 20 points in the loss. While the Raptors have won two straight, the Cavaliers have lost two straight, most recently a 126-110 loss to the Heat in Miami.
- Doing it all: One game after recording his second triple-double of the season, Kyle Lowry was everywhere in Miami. Playing 34 minutes, the Raptors point guard finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists. The Raptors were +31 with him on the floor. He shot 8-for-14 from the floor, and 6-for-11 from the three-point line. After the game, teammate Danny Green credited Lowry for all of the things he does that don't show up on the box score during his walk-off interview.
- From deep: The Raptors tied a franchise record in Sunday’s victory, connecting on 21 three-pointers. The team shot 21-for-40 from beyond the arc, and had 12 made threes before halftime. While this tied a franchise record, it set a new season-high, breaking the previous season-high of 18, something the team has accomplished twice this year. While Lowry led the way with his six threes, Danny Green added five and Norman Powell had a trio of three-pointers off the bench, eight Raptors made at least one three-pointer in the game.
- Rock steady: Danny Green has been a steadying presence in his first season with the Raptors, always coming through when the team needs a boost most. The last time the Raptors were in Miami, it was Green who hit the game-winning shot. A clutch shot wasn’t needed on Sunday, but Green was still solid as ever, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal in 26 minutes.