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

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cavs at Raptors

Air Canada Centre
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

1. The Cavaliers took it to the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference and led virtually from wire to wire. The Raptors had ripped into the Cavs in the first meeting, 110-93, on Nov. 22 at The Q. They played without their best player, All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who tore a tendon in his groin. He is leading Raptors in scoring at 19.4 per game. Toronto coach Dwane Casey inserted Greivis Vasquez in at shooting guard.

2. DeRozan was injured in the Dallas game on Nov. 28. Since then, the Raptors are 2-2. Point guard Kyle Lowry is making a bid for the East All-Star team. He finished with 22 points and nine assists against the Cavs.

3. One has to commend the Cavs, who were playing on the tail end of a back-to-back set on the road. Often times, that's a scheduled loss. The Cavs came out with intensity and a spring in their step right from the start. They now have two days off before playing in Brooklyn on Monday. A 3-0 road trip would be fantastic.

4. They've won a season-high six in a row. They play Toronto again on Tuesday at The Q.

5. Forward/center Tristan Thompson was outstanding against his hometown Raptors. He had 21 points and 14 rebounds. Nine of his rebounds came on the offensive glass. He worked his butt off around the basket. They need those kinds of games out of him more often.

6. Forward LeBron James dished out a season-high 13 assists. He had 25 assists in the last two nights. He's pretty much taken over the role as point guard.

7. The Cavs' defense is thriving right now. They limited the Raptors to 40.7 percent shooting on Friday. During the winning streak, the Cavs are winning by a margin of 15.1 points per game. The Cavs are averaging 105.8 points and shooting 51.1 percent from the field during the streak. They are allowing just 90.6 points and 42.6 percent shooting.

8. Point guard Kyrie Irving cooled off a bit after his 37-point output against the Knicks. He's shooting a career-high 49.1 percent from the field, which ranks fourth among NBA point guards: Chris Paul (53.3 percent), Tony Parker (50.9) and Stephen Curry (49.3).

9. Just when veteran swingman Mike Miller fought his way back into Coach David Blatt's rotation, he suffered a concussion with about 2 minutes left in the Knicks game. After missing a 3-point shot, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony inadvertently slapped him in the head, which flattened him. He looked groggy when he got up. He remained in New York after the game and will enter the NBA's concussion protocol. He probably won't play again on the three-game road trip.

10. That led to Coach David Blatt playing little-used James Jones, who scored eight points in the second quarter for the Cavs. He buried two key 3-pointers. Play the guy. That's why he was signed, wasn't it?

11. Guard Matthew Dellavedova is very close to playing, but the Cavs apparently want him to participate in their practice on Sunday. If he comes through that unscathed, he'll likely be active for Monday's game in Brooklyn. He's been out since Nov. 4 with a sprained knee.

UP NEXT: at Brooklyn, Barclays Center, 7:30 p.m. Monday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Terrence Ross (6-7, 198)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Amir Johnson (6-9, 249)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Jonas Valanciunas (7-0, 270)
SG Shawn Marion (6-7, 228) vs. Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 211)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Kyle Lowry (6-1, 204)
Cavs - G/F Mike Miller, C Alex Kirk, G Matthew Dellavedova
Raptors - G DeMar DeRozan, C Lucas Nogueira
David Jones, Eric Lewis, Justin Van Duyne


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