Cavaliers devoured by Raptors 106-95
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Cleveland Cavaliers faced their opposite on Saturday night. The Cavs entered Saturday with the worst record in the Eastern Conference and their opponent, the Toronto Raptors, entered the day with the best record in the NBA. As one may have suspected, the contest went in favor of the team from north of the border, as the Raptors left Cleveland with a 106-95 victory.
“We just have to continue to try to improve in certain areas,” Cavs interim head coach Larry Drew said. “At one point, we were really trying to get our finger on our transition defense, which we, for the most part, kind of figured a couple things out. Now we have to learn how to close halves better. We have to learn how to start third quarters better and more importantly, we have to learn how to finish games.”
The Cavs jumped out to an early 10-4 lead, only to see the Raptors tie the game at 14 less than four minutes later. Cleveland and Toronto sat tied at 21 when the first quarter ended, but a 13-point second quarter from Kawhi Leonard helped the Raptors take a 47-40 lead into halftime.
The overmatched Cavs never quit competing and trailed by a slim 53-50 margin when George Hill drained a three-pointer with 8:16 remaining in the third quarter. From that point forward, however, the Raptors took over the game.
After Hill’s trey, Toronto immediately put together a 17-3 run, capped by a Leonard three-pointer to take a 70-53 lead. Leonard and the Raptors coasted from there, the former finishing with a team-high 34 points.
“He’s a terrific player,” Drew said of Leonard. “He’s a two-way player. On both ends of the floor, he impacts the game.
“He’s a tough guard with his ability to score, his ability to get to the basket. He’s strong. He’s just a guy that just gives them a whole different dimension. Their playing extremely well as a team.”
Jordan Clarkson led the Cavs with 18 points. Tristan Thompson finished with 18 points and 19 rebounds.
With the loss, the Cavs tied the Phoenix Suns for the worst record in the league (4-18). Cleveland will attempt to get their fifth win in Brooklyn on Monday..
POSTED 12/01/2018 22:41