NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 25th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (39-30) at Cleveland Cavaliers (27-44), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry will try to lead the
Toronto Raptors to another victory when they visit Cleveland Tuesday for a
matchup with the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
DeRozan and Lowry have been a nice 1-2 punch for the Raptors, the current
leaders of the Atlantic Division by two games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets.
The Raptors will also visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday and have an 18-16
mark outside Air Canada Centre. They have alternated wins and losses over the
past four games and improved to 7-4 in the last 11 with Sunday's 96-86 triumph
over the Atlanta Hawks.
Lowry netted 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to help the Raptors
take the stanza by a 36-15 margin. Lowry has scored 19 or more points in each
of the last nine games, averaging 22.6 points in that time, and has recorded
an average of 24.2 ppg through the previous five.
"We didn't start off playing at a high level," said Raptors guard Greivis
Vasquez, who finished with 12 points. "In the third quarter we were a little
better, then we got it going in the fourth."
Vasquez is averaging 14.3 points in his last four games. DeRozan ended with 21
points and is posting 24.1 ppg since the All-Star break. Raptors forward Amir
Johnson (knee) is probable for Tuesday.
Toronto is two road wins shy of matching a franchise best (20) set back in
2000-01 and has never finished a season with a .500 or better record as the
visitor. Raptors coach Dwane Casey needs four wins to reach 100 victories with
The Raptors last posted 40 total wins in a season in 2009-10 (40-42) and the
fastest team to reach 40 wins was the 1999-00 squad after 70 games. The
current unit can match that with a win over the Cavaliers.
Cleveland ended a four-game losing streak its last time out in a 106-100
victory over the surging New York Knicks Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The
Knicks had won eight in a row.
Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 31 points on 13-of-19 shooting and handed
out 10 assists to lead Cleveland. Dion Waiters scored 22 points and has
started the last four games in place of injured guard Kyrie Irving (biceps).
Waiters is averaging 23.8 points and 6.3 assists in that period.
The Knicks, who had a 17-point lead at one point, played to a 61-46 halftime
lead, but came out sloppy in the second half. The Cavaliers recorded a 60-39
advantage over the final 24 minutes to stun the MSG crowd and send the Knicks
to their first loss since March 3 at Detroit.
"Coach (Mike Brown) gave us a pretty good talking to at halftime. He
challenged us. He lit a fire underneath us. The guys responded and came out
and played well," said Jack.
The Cavs outscored the Knicks 40-24 in the paint and shot a season-high 60.9
percent for the game. It was Cleveland's best performance from the floor since
making 62.7 percent versus Houston on March 21, 1996. The Cavs only missed
seven shots in the second half (23-of-30).
Cleveland will try to stop a five-game home losing streak versus Toronto and
has a 15-20 record at the Q. The Cavs still have hope on making a playoff
push, but sit five games off the eighth spot.
Toronto is 2-0 against Cleveland this season and has won five of its last six
games in the Forest City.
03/25 10:24:17 ET