(Photo credit: Chris Young/Canadian Press via CBC Sports)
The Toronto Raptors were looking to improve on their 3 game winning streak, but they came up short; losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers 84-80.
The Raptors were in control of the game going into the 4th quarter, leading 63-51, but a game in the NBA is 48 minutes, not 36. The Cavaliers came roaring back with huge 4th quater effort, outscoring the Raptors 33-17 in the final frame to earn the 4 point win.
DeMar DeRozan had one of his best games of the season for the Raptors, scoring 28 points on 10-16 shooting including 7-8 from the free throw line. DeMar also collected 4 rebounds, and handed out 4 assists. Andrea Bargnani had 19 points, along with 7 rebounds and also picked up 2 steals.
Antwan Jamison played inspired basketball despite the Cavs’ struggles this season, and approached the game like the professional he is. Jamison scored 25 points on 8-16 from the field, including 3-5 from 3, and 6-8 from the free throw line. He also pulled down 8 rebounds and had 2 blocks. Jamison was the catalyst for the Cavs’ 4th quarter comeback, scoring 15 of his team-high 25 points in a 5:35 stretch in the 4th.
Lester Hudson, a recent 10-day contract signee, made the most of his opportunity, playing in his 5th game for the Cavaliers. He was aggressive on the offensive end of the floor, both finding his own shot and looking for teammates. He went 6-14 from the field, and 11-13 from the free throw line, for 23 points. He had 7 assists and also came up with 3 steals.
Jose Calderon was not in action for this game, it’s believed that Raptors coach Dwane Casey gave Jose the night off to give him some rest due to the heavy minutes Calderon has been logging. James Johnson missed his 2nd straight game for what is being called an ‘internal matter’ between he and Coach Casey.
The Cavaliers were without the services of Kyrie Irving, who is out for an extended period due to re-aggravating his sprained shoulder earlier in the week. Former Raptor Anthony Parker was also not in uniform for the Cavaliers in this game.
This also marked another return trip home for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ rookie power forward and Brampton, Ontario native, Tristan Thompson. Tristan was drafted 4th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, the highest a Canadian has ever been drafted in the NBA. He also had the honour of playing in the 2011 BBVA NBA Rising Stars game (Team Shaq vs. Team Chuck, aka Rookie-Sophomore game) during NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando this past February. With Anderson Varejao out for most of this season, Tristan has had the opportunity to get a lot of minutes in his rookie year to get used to the pace & grind of an NBA season.
- Coach Dwane Casey addressed the media following the loss, including the situation surrounding James Johnson.