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Toronto held an advantage of several possessions at halftime, but took full control in the third quarter. Cleveland was woeful in those 12 minutes, despite 11 points from Jamison, shooting just 6-for-21.
Toronto made twice as many field goals, as Kleiza led the way with 13 points. With under four minutes to go in the period, he sank a jumper before the Raptors got the ball back following a Jamison turnover. Jamison blocked Kleiza’s layup at the other end, but Kleiza got the rebound before getting a layup to fall, capping a 10-2 burst for a 69-52 advantage.
After Jamison followed with a three, Toronto scored the final eight points of the period for a 77-55 lead, and the Raptors cruised in the fourth quarter.
Toronto led by as many as eight in the first quarter, though took a 24-20 lead into the second after a late Cavaliers rally.
The Raptors continued to play in front, and extended their lead to 44-32 following two Jarrett Jack foul shots with 1:05 left. But Cleveland scored six of the final eight points of the half, and Parker’s three at the buzzer made it a 46-38 game.
Leandro Barbosa and Sonny Weems each scored 13 off the bench for Toronto, which shot 47.6 percent…Cleveland made 38.1 percent of its shots and got to the free throw line only 10 times, making eight…Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions was 1-of-10 from the field…Prior to this season, Toronto had won four of the last 22 matchups with Cleveland. The last time the Raptors won the season series was in 2003-04, James’ rookie year.
You had to see this coming with two Cavs’ starter out.
The Toronto Raptors outscored Cleveland 31-17 in the third quarter and have basically salted away a win in Toronto. All that is left is the formality of the fourth quarter, as the Raptors lead 77-55 going into the final twelve minutes.
For what it is worth, Antawn Jamison came alive with a couple of three’s in the third quarter, but a Toronto barrage and continued cold overall shooting is doing Cleveland in.
Andrea Bargnani leads all scorers with 12 for the Raptors, who are trying for their first win of the season tonight.
Toronto jumped on the Cavaliers 16-8 midway through the first quarter tonight, but Cleveland ended the quarter on a 12-8 run of their own and trail 24-20 after one.
Seven Cavs got in the scoring column and three lead the way with 4 points.
Another update to follow at halftime.
Williams is still trying to battle back from a groin problem suffered in Spetember. He was able to play in one game, but then was away from the team for a week following the death of his father-in-law.
Varejao remained in Cleveland today to be with his father who was undergoing heart surgery.
The Cavs, led by new head coach Byron Scott, stunned the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics on Wednesday when J.J. Hickson went 8-of-11 from the field for 21 points, leading Cleveland to a 95-87 victory over the C’s at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs, playing for the first time since 2002 without two-time MVP James on the roster, were able to do something that James’ new team — the Heat — could not do a night earlier. While James and Co. lost in Boston on opening night Tuesday, Cleveland was able to secure a victory without its former superstar.
“We had a couple lapses, which usually happens in games. But we had a great coaching job — we called timeouts when we needed it — and we got together as a group and just played good basketball,” Hickson said.
The hosts had six players reach double figures in scoring, including Daniel Gibson with 16 and Ramon Sessions with 14. Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon and Ryan Hollins each had 10 points, while Anderson Varejao provided eight points and 10 rebounds.
Cleveland earned the win without starting point guard Mo Williams, who missed most of the preseason with a groin problem and was held out of the opener due to conditioning concerns. He is questionable for tonight’s contest.
In other team news Varejao was excused from traveling with the team to Toronto so he can be with his father during heart surgery.
The Raptors, meanwhile, fell in their first game without All-Star forward Chris Bosh, who signed to play with James in Miami during the offseason.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do but we had some good moments,” Kleiza said. “We just couldn’t make some shots at the end, we made some bad decisions on the offensive end and we’ve got to play more together.”
Cleveland took three of four games with Toronto last season and has won eight of nine overall in the series.
Cavaliers C Anderson Varejao did not travel with the team to Toronto and is not expected to play tonight against the Raptors. The team excused Varejao so that he could stay in Cleveland and be with his father who is undergoing heart surgery today.
If Varejao does not play, Ryan Hollins would get the start at Center.
The Cleveland Cavaliers proved they are still a force to be reckoned with at home while beating the Boston Celtics 95-87 on Wednesday night. Now they need to prove they can play with the same effort on the road. The first road test will take place north of the border when the team travels to Toronto to face the Raptors tonight at 7:00PM.
Toronto, like the Cavaliers, is trying to move on after losing their best player to the Miami Heat in the offseason. Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach as well, and the Raptors are undertaking a rebuilding effort similar to Cleveland's. The Raptors also traded a huge free-agent mistake when they sent Hedo Turkoglu to the Phoenix Suns.
Toronto opened the season with a 98-93 home loss to the New York Knicks. Raptors C Andrea Bargnani lead the team with 22 points, though he scored just 4 points in the 2nd half. Jarrett Jack added 16 points and 6 assists in a losing effort.