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

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Game 63: Cavs at Raptors

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

WHAT HAPPENED: The last time the Cavs visited Canada, Kyrie Irving stunned the Raptors with a last-second 3-pointer to win the game.

The news wasn't as encouraging for Irving on Sunday.

He suffered a contusion to his left shoulder in the third quarter and didn't return. Be prepared for him to miss some action.

Shooting guard Dion Waiters picked up the slack with Irving out of the game. He scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter.

The game was lost - once again - in the third quarter when the Raptors outscored the Cavs, 33-19. In the Cavs' last four games, they've been outscored in the third, 111-69.

They made a big commotion about their third-quarter woes after the loss to Memphis on Friday. Not a thing changed on Sunday. This is a joke. Do something. Yank the starters out of the game. Call time out and yell at the players. Something. Anything. It doesn't do a bit of good talking about it AFTER the game.

This was the Cavs' first game on the road this month. Before Sunday, they hadn't played away from The Q since Feb. 26 at Chicago. They are 9-23 on the road this year.

The Cavs blew a 17-point lead in the first half. They were shooting 54 percent at halftime. In the second half, they shot just 31 percent. They were outscored in the second half, 54-41.

They split the season series with the Raptors, 2-2

It was time for center Tyler Zeller to start playing. He finished with eight points, eight rebounds and one block in 25 minutes. He competed. That's all you can ask from him.

Power forward Tristan Thompson recorded his 23rd double-double on the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. It's always a big deal for him to return to Toronto and play before the hometown fans. He's beloved there.

The Cavs paid a lot of attention to Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who was held to 13 points. He had 34 points against the Cavs on Feb. 27.

He came into the game averaging 21.7 and 4.7 rebounds in three previous games against the Cavs this season. He's 21st in scoring in the NBA at 17.8 points per game. He's turned into a legitimate offensive threat.

Leading scorer Rudy Gay (back spasms) and forward/center Andrea Bargnani (elbow) missed Sunday's game. It didn't matter. They couldn't keep Amir Johnson off the boards.

The Raptors finished 1-3 on their recently completed road trip. They changed time zones four times during their eight-day trip (March 2-10). Toronto will play 18 of its final 19 games against Eastern Conference opponents, starting with tonight..

NEWS FEED: Doug Smith's story in the Toronto Star about Raptors coach Dwane Casey wanting his team to play better defense.

LAST GAME: The Cavs lost to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, 103-92.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Terrence Ross (6-7, 197)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Amir Johnson (6-9, 237)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Jonas Valanciunas (7-0, 257)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. DeMar DeRozan (6-7, 217)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Kyle Lowry (6-0, 205) 
Cavs – C Anderson Varejao
Raptors - C Andrea Bargnani, F Quincy Acy
Ron Garretson, David Guthrie, Karl Lane


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