Raptors Rout Cavaliers 133-99
The Cleveland Cavaliers traveled from the south shore of Lake Erie to the north shore of Lake Ontario to take on the Toronto Raptors on January 11th. The Raptors came into the game with a record of 28-11, and having won 17 of 21 games. Toronto is in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and in the Atlantic Division, three games behind the Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers, leaders of the NBA Central, were 26-14 entering the contest in Toronto, good for third overall in the East. But Cleveland has been a little cold lately, and not just the city; the Cavaliers had lost six of nine games before this game.
The Raptors were without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, and DeMar DeRozan, who is averaging about 25 points per game only scored 13. Showcasing the team’s depth, the Raptors went on a scoring spree and beat the Cavaliers 133-99. The Raptors were led by Fred VanVleet who scored 22 points off the bench, a career high. In fact, Raptors non starters scored 76 points. The Cavaliers were led by LeBron James with 26 points; Isaiah Thomas had a horrible game, hitting just two of 15 shots.
The last three games have not been defensive gems by Cleveland. The Cavaliers lost 127-99 on January 8th, and allowed 127 points in a 131-127 win at Orlando on January 6th. The Timberwolves (27-16) and Raptors (29-11) are pretty good teams, but the Magic are just 12-30, which is the second worst record in the NBA. The Cavaliers are a good home team at 15-4 but are just 11-11 on the road. This may be just a bump in the road in the long season, but the Cavs will need to do better than this on the road, and will have to turn up the defense a few notches if they want to go deep in the playoffs.