Friday, October 7 2022

The Toronto Raptors need to find a way to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team they are chasing for a top-six playoff spot, in the crucial opener of a four-game homestand on Thursday night.

Cleveland is 3-0 against Toronto this season.

The Cavaliers are sixth in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of the seventh-place Raptors and one game behind the fifth-place Chicago Bulls.

Both Cleveland and Toronto are coming off some defensive lapses in losses on Monday.

Cleveland fell 131-120 at home to the Los Angeles Lakers, with former Cavalier LeBron James scoring 38 points and adding 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

“It was terrible,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We did not compete at the level that we needed to compete at (Monday) to win this game. These are all the learning experiences that we talk about.

“We got caught up in the show and instead of doing the things we needed to do and focus on the bigger picture and the task at hand, we allowed this moment to overtake us.”

Toronto lost 113-99 at Chicago, with former Raptor DeMar DeRozan scoring 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field. Zach LaVine also scored 26 for the Bulls.

“We just weren’t ourselves defensively at all tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “We were out of schemes quickly and we were just not moving.”

Fatigue could have been a factor. The Raptors defeated the host Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. They fell in overtime at home to the Lakers on Friday following a 5-1 road trip that began with a March 6 loss at Cleveland.

Cleveland lost All-Star center Jarrett Allen to a broken finger in that March 6 meeting with Toronto.

“He’s improving, but it’s a bone and it takes time to heal,” Bickerstaff said on Monday.

Bickerstaff feels that the Cavaliers have enough big men with Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen, Kevin Love and Lamar Stevens to compensate for Allen’s loss.

“They just need to be in their spots and make sure that we’re clear on executing the game plan,” Bickerstaff said. “We knew if we won the paint, we’d give ourselves a chance to win the game (on Monday). But we weren’t in our spots and there wasn’t any resistance there.

“There wasn’t enough grit and there wasn’t enough scrap. You can’t give up 64 points in your paint and expect to win a basketball game. You give up 130, you score 120, that should be a blowout for you.”

Dean Wade (knee) continues to be out for Cleveland. He has missed five consecutive games.

The Raptors have been without OG Anunoby (broken finger) and he is not expected to return Thursday.

Gary Trent Jr. (toe) missed Toronto’s game Monday and did not practice Wednesday. X-rays were negative.

Raptors All-Star Fred VanVleet did not play in Philly but did play in Chicago as the team manages his sore knee.

“I think, for the most part, I’ve always elected to play and play until somebody stops me,” VanVleet said. “So, here we are and some days I feel better than others but for the most part I can do my job pretty good out there, definitely not where I’d love to be but it’s a process to get there.”

He had 19 points on Monday on 7-of-22 shooting from the field, including 3 of 12 from 3-point range.

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports


Guardians, Shane Bieber agree to $6 million contract for 2022


Fantasy Hockey Goalies: Wild's Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot are winners

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

MLB playoffs live updates: Cardinals-Phillies underway, Shane Bieber dominates Rays in Cleveland win

Major League Baseball’s best-of-three wild card series begin Friday, a quadruple-header to kick off the first year with an expanded 12-team postseason field. In the American League, the Cleveland Guardians face the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays host the Seattle Mariners. In the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies visit the St. Louis […]

Read More

2022 MLB Playoffs: Timely home run, elite pitching the keys for Guardians vs. Rays

By Jordan ShustermanFOX Sports MLB Writer It was never going to be a high-scoring affair. A chilly, cloudy afternoon in Cleveland with two aces named Shane on the mound was a tough assignment for the Tampa Bay Rays‘ and Cleveland Guardians‘ lineups from the first pitch Friday in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. […]

Read More

Guardians edge Rays 2-1 in MLB Wild Card Series opener

Shane Bieber, Jose Ramirez lead Guardians past Rays originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago The 2022 MLB postseason is officially underway, and the Cleveland Guardians are the bracket’s first winner. Cleveland leaned on ace Shane Bieber in Game 1 of the 2022 Wild Card Series. Bieber punched out eight Tampa Bay batters across seven and […]

Read More