Game Rap: Raptors 112, Cavs 116
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
DeMar DeRozan stepped out of bounds as he hit a three-pointer to bring the Raptors within two points with 12.3 seconds remaining. After a review showed that DeRozan was out of bounds, the Cavs made a pair of free throws to go ahead by seven with 8.4 seconds remaining to all but wrap the game up. Cleveland would go on to collect a 116-112 victory.
BALANCED FIRST HALF
The teams were evenly matched throughout the first half with the Cavs leading by three after the first quarter, and holding a one-point advantage at the break. Cleveland shot 55 percent in the half, compared to 43 percent for Toronto. Toronto’s star backcourt led the way in the first half, combining for 26 points on 17 shots. Kevin Love led all scorers with 20 points in 19 minutes and LeBron added 16 points.
CLEVELAND TURNS IT ON IN THE SECOND
Cleveland came out focused in the third. Although their shooting percentage dropped from 55 percent in the first half to 46 percent in the third, the Cavs outscored Toronto 28-20 in the quarter as the Raptors made just 35 percent of their shots. The solid third quarter effort gave the Cavs a 90-81 lead going into the fourth. Cleveland led throughout the fourth, going ahead by as many as 15 points, before the Raptors made a final push, getting within five with 12.3 seconds remaining and nearly cut the deficit to two, before replay showed DeRozan’s corner three-pointer occurred while he was out of bounds.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors in scoring with 31 points in 39 minutes. He shot 12-for-23 from the floor, 7-for-7 from the free throw line and added four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Kyle Lowry followed up DeRozan’s effort with 24 points and nine assists to go with three rebounds and a steal. Lowry shot 7-for-14 from the floor, 4-for-9 from beyond the arc and 6-for-7 from the free throw line in 40 minutes of action, shaking off an early elbow to the face that required a shot of novocain to his lip.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Patrick Patterson continues to be immensely important for the Raptors off the bench. Patterson scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds on Monday. He shot just 3-for-12 from the floor, with all of his makes coming from beyond the arc, but Toronto was a +17 during his 30 minutes of playing time.
THAT'S A RAP…
“They won a championship last year so for us, a team that’s chasing the best team in the NBA last year, our margin for error is small. They beat us three times so far this year and they have our number right now, but we have a long way to go and a lot more regular season games to go and continue to play. We’ll take this game as a lesson, a loss, broke our streak, but now we have a chance to start a new one.”
- Kyle Lowry on chasing the Cavs
BY THE #’S
48…Rebounds for the Cavaliers compared to 33 rebounds for the Raptors. Cleveland also held a 13-10 edge on the offensive glass.
39…bench points for Toronto, compared to 22 for Cleveland.
7…turnovers for Toronto who continue to do a solid job taking care of the ball. Cleveland scored 14 points off Toronto’s miscues, while turning the ball over 17 times, leading to 17 points for the Raptors.
34…Points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals for LeBron James in 42 minutes.
THEY SAID IT…
“They have so many situations they put you in that you concentrate on [LeBron] James, and then there’s [Kyrie] Irving, and then there’s [Channing] Frye spaced out and then you have to rotate to [Kevin] Love. You have to pick your poison. When your rotation is out you tag and close out, you have to make sure you’re there. A couple of times we didn't execute our schemes the way we should with our big lineup and the make you pay.”
- Dwane Casey on what makes Cleveland so difficult to defend
“Real small. They know how to win. Throughout the whole game, they understand when they need to turn it up on both ends. With that, you can’t put yourself in a hole deeper than what you’re already in. They’re champs.”
- DeMar DeRozan on having a small the margin for error is when facing Cleveland
“I’m good, man. A little bit of elbow. Will be eating soft food tonight. I’ll be alright though.”
- Kyle Lowry on how his mouth is feeling after taking an elbow early in the game
“It’s always a tough place to play, their fans are incredible, and their team is very good and well coached. It’s always tough to get a win in here and for us to be able to do that twice already, it’s big for our team.”
- LeBron James on the Raptors
The Raptors will close out their homestand against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Air Canada Centre on Thursday at 7 P.M. ET.