TORONTO - Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey said his team had every excuse in the book for coming out flat in the first half, including an overnight flight from Los Angeles and a time change.
But he told his guys excuses wouldn't cut it. The message was received.
Kyle Lowry drained a fade-away jumper with 14.2 seconds remaining, and the Raptors picked up a 100-96 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
With the shot clock running down, Lowry spun off his defender and made his shot from the elbow, sending the Air Canada Centre crowd into frenzy.
"I just kind of went to a move where I knew I could get the shot off. I work on it so I went to it and I made it," said Lowry.
Lowry finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Alan Anderson had a team-high 18 points for Toronto, which rebounded from a slow start.
Cleveland's Dion Waiters finished with a game-high 21 points.
Late in the third quarter, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving ran into the Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas and went down favoring his left shoulder. Irving took the ensuing two free throws but then left the game.
"Any time you lose your best player, it's going to be a big loss," said Cleveland coach, Byron Scott. "The update is, he's going to get it looked at tomorrow. The X-rays were negative, so we'll see how he is tomorrow."
Irving finished with 12 points, four assists and four rebounds.
He didn't want to compare this shoulder injury to a right shoulder injury suffered last year. But he did need help pulling on his sweater and socks after the game as a result of the injury.
"It feels like crap," he said. "I've done that play a lot of times and I've never come up feeling like this. I'll just go back home. Take a few more pictures and see what it feels like tomorrow."
The Raptors opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run to open an eight-point lead. However, the Cavaliers soon responded with a 7-2 run, tying the score at 94.
Toronto (25-39) trailed 55-46 at halftime before turning the game around.
After technical fouls on Valanciunas and Lowry for arguing calls, Toronto went on an 8-2 run to cut the Cleveland lead to three.
Terrence Ross got the crowd on its feet with an attempted 360-dunk. He missed it, but tipped in the rebound.
Anderson then hit one of his three 3-pointers, cutting the Cavaliers' lead to two.
With less than a minute remaining in the third period, Anderson drained both his free throws. On the next procession, Landry Fields made a shot off the glass as Toronto took a 79-74 lead into the fourth.
"Coach came in here with a little bit of a fiery side to him and wanted us to get after it," said Lowry of the halftime message from Casey. "The team responded really well."
Cleveland (21-42) used separate 9-0 and 6-0 runs to take a 27-20 lead after one quarter.
NOTES: Raptors forward Rudy Gay was a late scratch due to back stiffness. ...The teams split the four-game season series. ... Sunday marked Tristan Thompson's fourth game in his native Toronto. The Cavaliers forward finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. "He seems to have calmed down and understands that it's still a business trip," Scott said. "Even though you're at home and the reason we're here is to try to win a basketball game." ... The Raptors changed time zones four times on their recent road trip and finished 1-3. ... Toronto will play 18 of its final 19 against Eastern Conference teams. ... Toronto's Andrea Bargnani did not play Sunday due to a right elbow strain suffered in Friday's loss to the Lakers. Bargnani is scheduled to have tests on the elbow Monday. According to Casey, Quincy Acy could be recalled from the D League if Bargnani's injury is long term. Bargnani missed 26 games earlier this season with a torn right ligament and strained right wrist.