As an individual, it speaks volumes when he's in big moments like last night (Thursday against Cleveland in a game televised by TNT). DeRozan said on Friday it's a game Toronto could have won, pointing out that they had a lead with less than two minutes remaining, and said the Raptors have grown within their new system since. Thanks to some sloppy passes by the Pacers, poor floor balance, numerous missed jumpers and increased effort on the defensive end from the agenda-driven Cavs, transition opportunities were available and they capitalized. Him and Kyle Lowry, still out with that bruised tailbone, are the heart and soul of the team.
Golden State hopes to have two-time MVP Stephen Curry back - he's missed the last two games after slipping during a shootaround and tweaking his right ankle. The Cavs were 7 of 34 from 3-point range and wound up shooting 43 percent overall after shooting 59.1 percent in the first quarter.
Elsewhere, Kevin Durant scored 26 points, Draymond Green added 21 and the Golden State Warriors defeated the host Milwaukee 108-94. After Saturday's game, the team will head to Philadelphia for a one-game trip, an afternoon game against the 76ers on Monday, before returning to the Air Canada Centre for a two-game stint next week. They may have won Wednesday to Miami if not for their brutal struggles from distance, going 1 for 18.
Whatever the reason, the Cavs were inconsistently consistent.
After back-to-back blowouts suffered at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors, the Cavs came out with a sense of urgency and took a huge first quarter lead and dominated throughout the entire first half. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 24 points, Serge Ibaka added 15 points and Jakob Poeltl had 14 rebounds in the loss. Point guard Darren Collison paced the team by connecting on his first nine shots and scoring 22 points in the win.
Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman dunks during the first half of Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Punish Zaza in the pick-and-roll: The largest mismatch the Raptors have in this game is Jonas Valanciunas. The advantage stretched to 59-36 as Siakam scored six consecutive points, four of them on dunks. Love went over the 7,000-rebound mark during the game and now has 7,007. In the first quarter he was 0-for-6, making him 2-for-18 in that period in his four games, including 0-for-8 on 3-pointers.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue knew his team had slacked off before when opponents were missing key players.
He's tough, mentally and physically, unafraid when crunch time arrives, fearless, mature and quite good, an underrated player who has all the makings of being a starting point guard.
The Warriors' average margin of victory in their last five games has been 6.2, down from 9.3 for the season. "We got stops, we were able to get out in transition and then the threes started falling somewhere in the second quarter".