Raptors Halt Cavs' Three-Game Winning Streak (Rapid Recap)


-Call this the anti-tank game. Or call it the match that was on while some pre-NBA Trade Deadline deals were going down. Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks traded franchise center Andrew Bogut, along with Captain' Jack, to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown, but for our purposes, although maybe not more importantly, the Toronto Raptors were beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96 to 88 this evening.

-The win stopped the Cavs' three-game win streak, and their charge towards the eighth place Knicks. Toronto surpasses their number of road wins last year with the W, and kicks off their five-game road trip in solid fashion thanks to some great team play.

-Yep, team play and while the starters didn't bring it in the first quarter, Toronto's bench, led by 12 points from Leandro Barbosa and some heady point guard play by defacto back-up Gary Forbes, kept Toronto down only one entering the second Q. Later in that Q, the starters turned it on, especially on D, and the Raps headed into the break up 54 to 46.

-In the second, the Cavs just couldn't get over the hump as every run was met with a Jerryd Bayless 3-pointer or Andrea Bargnani basket. And the points in the paint advantage that Cleveland enjoyed early disappeared, forcing them to rely on outside shooting, something they simply didn't do a good job of. The Cavs shot a measly 38 per cent from the field and were only 3 of 15 from long-range, a credit to Toronto's D considering Cleveland's ranking in many 3-point shooting categories, and one of their strengths this season.

-MVP for Toronto? Hard to pick just one. Barbosa as mentioned had a big night off the bench, finishing with 17 points, but Andrea Bargnani, despite some early miscues, was the closer with 19 points and 8 boards, including following up a missed two for a dunk that in my eyes, sealed the win. Jerryd Bayless, taking Jose Calderon's spot as the starring PG was up and down, but hit some huge shots and finished with a very respectable seven assists to go with his 20 points.

-And you could go on and on as Aaron Gray, James Johnson, Linas Kleiza, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson all made big plays in key moments to help get this win.

-Uh oh...one name missing. Yep, Mr. DeRozan who took only six shots, and hit only one, despite logging 33 minutes. The Raps really didn't need him in this one though, and the hope is tomorrow night against the Nets he bounces back if his teammates need his O.

-The win of course doesn't help the team's draft picture and as someone on Twitter noted, "it's too bad the Raps can't play the Cavs all season, they'd be in first." That's not the case though, and Toronto will now have to try to find a way to stumble tomorrow night against Jersey.

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