Cavaliers fight hard, but fall to Raptors 115-109
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - It has been a rough season for the Cleveland Cavaliers at home this season, especially of late. Entering Thursday’s home contest against the Toronto Raptors, the Cavs hadn’t won a home game since before Christmas, losing eight straight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Six of those eight straight home loses came by at least 12 points, and the Cavs were heavy underdogs against a Raptors team sporting the third-best record in the league. Meanwhile, the Cavs entered Thursday with the third-worst record in the league, having lost two games to Toronto already this season by 20 points in each outing. Unfortunately for the Cavs, Toronto swept the three-game season series on Thursday with a 115-109 victory that handed Cleveland its ninth straight home loss.
“They really have a lot of the pieces that you need to win at the level they’ve been winning at,” Cavs head coach John Beilein said about the Raptors.
With Cleveland trailing 88-76 at the end of the third quarter, it looked like the Raptors were in the midst of pulling away from the Cavs after having a slim 56-52 lead at halftime. The Cavs had hung in with Toronto the entire evening, but when Raptors shooting guard Norman Powell converted a layup less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Toronto had equalled its largest lead of the evening, 92-78. The Cavs, though, didn’t go away quietly.
Cleveland immediately put together a 10-0 run, capped by a Darius Garland jump shot, to bring the deficit within four points with eight minutes to play. The game was up for grabs as Cleveland trailed 105-104 with a little more than a minute remaining in regulation, but a Powell three-pointer with 1:01 showing put Toronto back up two possessions. When Powell stole the ball and broke away for an easy dunk with 35 seconds to play, Toronto was back up six points and never looked back.
Cavs shooting guard Collin Sexton scored 23 points with four rebounds and four assists, while Kevin Love added 23 points, five rebounds and four assists. Kevin Porter Jr. and Larry Nance Jr. chipped-in 13 points apiece, while Garland totaled 16 points, five rebounds and eight assists.
Serge Ibaka led the way for the Raptors on Thursday, finishing with 26 points and four rebounds. All-Star guard Kyle Lowry contributed 23 points five rebounds and five assists.
The Cavs will attempt to snap their nine-game home losing streak on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.
POSTED 01/30/2020 22:53