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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Game 45: Cavs at Raptors

Air Canada Centre
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The legend is growing.

Kyrie Irving has been on quite a tear. In his last three games, he's averaging 35.7 points.

He fired in a game-high 32 points on Saturday, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds remaining. Raptors swingman Alan Anderson, who played for the Canton Charge last season, was guarding Irving on the last few plays.

Raptors coach Dwane Case must have wanted a bigger player on Irving. The 6-6 Anderson was playing off Irving, and he made him pay. He drained a 28-footer from the top of the key.

Fox Sports Ohio's Austin Carr coined the best phrase of the night on an Irving drive seconds earlier. "He's a bad man," he yelled. He's accurate there. Irving is bad - in a good way.

He had 12 points in the fourth quarter when the Cavs outscored the Raptors, 33-23. For the second night in a row, the Cavs rallied from a double-digit deficit. It was 20 points on Friday, 11 against Toronto.

They've won three in a row and four of their last five.

They came into the game just 1-12 on the second night of a back-to-back set this season. Make that 2-12 now.

Newly acquired Marreese Speights (pronounced "Spates") was real good. He had 17 points, five rebounds and a block in 29 minutes. Guard Wayne Ellington was pretty good, too, with 12 points. He was 3 of 4 from behind the arc.

Speights gives them a legitimate big man off the bench. That was needed in a big way. Ellington is known for his outside shooting, but he's defended well in his two games.

The Cavs played without power forward Luke Walton on Saturday. He had an ankle injury.

The only other Cavs player in double figures was power forward Tristan Thompson, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in his return to his hometown.

Irving added four rebounds, five assists and a steal. The All-Star converted 13 of 26 shots, 3 of 5 from behind the arc and 3 of 4 from the foul line.

For a stretch in the fourth quarter, Coach Byron Scott had Thompson on the floor with four guards - Irving, Dion Waiters, Shaun Livingston and Ellington.

On the down side, Daniel "Boobie" Gibson was knocked out of the game with a sprained big toe. He just got back from a concussion. He can't stay healthy.

Luckily for the Cavs, C.J. Miles will likely play on Tuesday against Golden State. He's missed the last three games with a virus. He's been in uniform and on the bench for the last two games, but hasn't played.

LAST GAME: The Cavs defeated Milwaukee on Friday, 113-108.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Golden State at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Landry Fields (6-7, 214)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Ed Davis (6-10, 228)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Amir Johnson (6-9, 237)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. DeMar DeRozan (6-7, 217)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Jose Calderon (6-3, 208) 
Cavs – C Anderson Varejao, G Josh Selby 
Raptors - C Andrea Bargnani, C Jonas Valanciunas
Jason Phillips, Dick Bavetta, Marat Kogut


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