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Raptors halt Cavs' six-game win streak

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- The lid came off the basket in the third quarter for the Toronto Raptors.

Held to 39 points in the first half, the Raptors poured in 37 points in the third quarter to snap the Cleveland Cavaliers' six-game winning with a 98-91 victory on Friday night.

The Raptors shot only 32.7 percent from the field while going 4-for-4 in free throws in the first half.

"It's unbelievable," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "I thought the lid in the first half was on the basket. I mean Amir (forward Johnson) had point-blank layups that he normally makes and just couldn't. But I like the way we gave ourselves a chance to with our defense."

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said, "We came out a little flat in the third quarter. But to our guys' credit, we stayed with it."

Guard/forward Terrence Ross scored 20 points to lead the Raptors (30-25) and also did a good job defending Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who was 3-for-16 from the field and finished with 17 points on the strength of 10-for-12 free-throw shooting.

"(Ross') length was really a key asset against (Irving)," Casey said. "The one thing you want to do with a young man like that is slow him down. He's one of the best guys with the ball, he's almost got a string on the ball, so it makes it doubly tough to handle him."

Ross said Irving was not his man to cover when the game started.

"Kyrie kind of switched in the first quarter and I ended up guarding him the whole game," he said. "He can score a lot of different ways, so you just try to slow him down."

Center Jonas Valanciunas scored 10 points in the third quarter to lead Toronto's surge and finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Guard Kyle Lowry added 14 points and nine assists for the Raptors (30-25). Guard DeMar DeRozan also scored 14 points for Toronto.

"We did it with our defense," Casey said. "There are going to be nights when the ball just won't fall and that's when your defense is going to have to carry you."

Forward Luol Deng led the Cavaliers (22-34) with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Toronto-born forward Tristan Thompson added 13 points and nine rebounds. Irving had nine assists.

The Cavaliers' win streak was their longest since they had eight victories in a row from March 8 to March24, 2010.

"We didn't really come out in the third quarter like we did at the start of the game," said Cavs rookie forward Anthony Bennett, also a Toronto native. "But we fought to the end. We've just got to come out and play strong like we've been doing."

Bennett scored nine points coming off the bench in his hometown and said he was not nervous.

"I was calm. I let the game come to me," he said. "It would have been nice to get the win."

The Raptors used their third-quarter blitz to take an 11-point lead into the fourth and stretched it 15 on a 3-pointer by forward Patrick Patterson.

Cavaliers guard Jarrett Jack made two free throws to cut the lead to 10, but Lowry answered with a 3-pointer. Valanciunas put in a layup for his 14th point of the second half and a 13-point Toronto lead with 1:47 to play.

Jack hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to six with 45.7 left. Toronto led by eight on a driving layup by guard-forward John Salmons.

Deng's jumper cut the lead to six. The lead was down to five after Deng hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds to play, but DeRozan came back to sink two foul shots.

"We gave ourselves a chance, but Toronto had built too big of a lead," Brown said.

The Cavaliers took a five-point lead into the second half, but the Raptors went ahead 51-50 on a pull-up jumper by Ross with 8:18 left in the third quarter. A steal and layup by Ross followed by Patterson's 3-pointer bumped the Raptors' lead to 71-58. Toronto led 76-65 after three quarters.

The Cavaliers were 6-for-11 from the line in the quarter.

"We missed the free throws and missed some shots we normally make," Brown said.

Bennett said, "Missing easy ones like that, it hurts."

The Cavaliers led 44-39 lead at the half and 22-16 after the first quarter. Cleveland center Spencer Hawes contributed five points in the first quarter after coming off the bench and finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.

NOTES: C Spencer Hawes was on the bench Friday night after the Cavaliers acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. "He's a guy who can space the floor and is a very good passer, plays hard, very intelligent player," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "We're a pick-and-roll team, so he'll help us in that area." ... G Nando De Colo was inactive for the game after the Raptors acquired him in a trade on Thursday that sent F Austin Daye to the San Antonio Spurs. ... The Cavaliers have two Toronto-born players, rookie F Anthony Bennett, who was the first Canadian selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft, and third-year F Tristan Thompson. ... F Amir Johnson started Friday, a move that put F Patrick Patterson on the bench after he started four straight games. Johnson missed two games with a sore ankle and was a reserve for the past two games.
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