The shorthanded Toronto Raptors (25-39) were able beat the Cleveland Cavaliers (21-42) with a spirited performance at home. After coming off a gut-wrenching overtime loss to the Lakers the other night, the Raptors were able get back on the winning side of basketball tonight against the Cavs. Without Rudy Gay or Andrea Bargnani the Raptors lacked two offensive threats but were able to overcome a 17-point deficit to win the game down the stretch.
The Raptors only shot 39% over the course of the game but were still able to come out with a victory. Amir Johnson took 19 shots which I would’ve never imagined, but we were short-manned so its understood. The 3rd quarter really provided the spark the Raptors needed in order to turn things around. Terrence Ross‘ hot shooting and Jonas Valanciunas‘ energy were much needed. The question that remains is why their minutes continue to be cut when the rooks are playing well.
The Raptors defence tonight was average at best. After an embarrassing loss to the Cavs last week, the Raptors should have looked to put the clamp on this team. The Cavs lost Kyrie Irving in the game and the Raptors almost let Dion Waiters lead the Cavs to victory. Waiters was a problem when he had a head of steam and was able to pressure the Raps defence, slowing him down late combined with him missing a crucial free-throw helped the Raptors seal this victory.
The Raptors effort on the glass showed in this matchup against the Cavs with their athleticism. The Raps pulled down 47 rebounds, but it was those crucial back taps that really helped. Johnson, Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry combined for 32 rebounds.
Game Ball: Kyle Lowry
Game ball in this matchup goes to Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. Amir Johnson may have had a sexier game on the stat sheet, however it was the play of Lowry that led the Raptors to victory in this game. He was able to put together a line of 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and only 1 turnover. This is the kind of Lowry us Raptor fans were expecting to have for the course of the entire season.
Photo Cred: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE