"My job is down low, grab those rebounds, I always say that".
This Raptors game - a nationally televised affair against a playoff foe from the previous two seasons - would typically be the type of game the Dr. Jekyll Cavs would show up for. We were getting good shots up, I think, all the way around.
James finished with 26 points, 5 rebounds and an uncharacteristic one lone assist, which is clearly a sign of how out-of-sync the team was throughout the night. They just can't seem to find any consistency to their game and trade rumors could start up before the deadline on February 8.
"We've got to be better". VanVleet went off, hitting six three-pointers on the way to a career-best 22 points.
Ibaka is averaging 13.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game this season.
"I was really proud of the way he came to play", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. To top it off, this was the only game that would be on a national network in the US, and it was the Raptors who gave Cleveland a taste of their own medicine.
But the Celtics tightened the screws defensively and closed out the second quarter on a 15-3 scoring run before outscoring the Sixers 37-22 to seize control in the third period.
"The way we've been playing, we don't have to remind [the players] of anything", Lue said with a laugh. "He's going to have to work out some kinks, but he'll be fine". He was hurt after a nasty fall in Toronto's 114-113 overtime win in Brooklyn on Monday night. Lowry participated in shootaround Thursday morning but is still too sore to play.
Leading 30-24 after one quarter, the Raptors extended their lead in the second thanks to their bench. Shooting in general was awful for the Cavaliers, who shot 33 percent from the field in the first two quarters. Guard Iman Shumpert, out since November 20 with a knee injury, is also expected to miss the game. According to ESPN.com, the Raptors now have the 26th ranked SOS with opponents having a combined winning percentage of 48.6-percent.
Outrebounded the Cavs 63-35.
The victory gives Toronto (29-11) its best 40-game start in franchise history. The concern is that Isaiah Thomas is back in the lineup.
Nobody doubts the Cavs are good enough offensively to win their second title in three years. Toronto has lost seven straight to the Warriors.
The Cavaliers (26-15) won in Orlando but then were smoked in Minnesota and Toronto in back-to-back games. Totals 53-106 9-13 133. It was C.J. Miles, Jonas Valanciunas, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam causing the damage.
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