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Cavs Make The Big Plays Down The Stretch, Move A Half-Game Ahead Of Minnesota

J.J. Hickson scored 28 points on his way to a double-double, Baron Davis made three big shots late when the Raptors got close, and Anthony Parker put a dagger in his former team, as the Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors last night 104-96, the Cavaliers’ second straight victory.

With the win, Cleveland equaled the victory total of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and actually moved ahead of Minnesota by a half-game in the competition for the NBA’s worst record. The T-wolves lost at home to Phoenix for their 62nd loss, while the Cavs have 61.

As was the formula in their win over Charlotte on Tuesday, the Cavaliers went to the locker room with a big lead — this time at 60-40 — and had to hold the opponent off late when things got a little dicey.

But the Cavaliers had it in them, thanks to Davis and Parker.

After Toronto pulled to within five with eight minutes to go, Davis hit three jumpers and Parker hit a three to restore order and basically put the game out of reach.

Hickson finished with 10 rebounds to go with his 28 points, while Davis tallied 19. Ramon Sessions had 15, Ryan Hollins 14 and Alonzo Gee 10 for the Cavs, who shot 46% from the field for the game.

Toronto, not much better than Cleveland at 21-57 with four games to go and in second-last place in the East, were led by Jerryd Bayless, who scored 28 off the bench.

The Cavs benefited from the absence of leading-scorer Andrea Bargnani from the Raptors’ lineup, but at this stage of the season with both teams playing out the string anyway, a win is a win.

After all, both teams have dealt with missing pieces of their puzzles since day one of this season.

The Cavaliers return home tomorrow night to take on the team with the best record in the NBA — the Chicago Bulls.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.