Cavaliers Lose to Raptors 124-121: Game Recap 1/1/24

January 2, 2024

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Key Factors Around the Loss

1 – Cold Late

At 4:43, Caris LeVert made a lay-up to make it 116-114 Cavs up, and sadly, Cleveland would not hit another shot until 7.1 seconds again by LeVert.  The Cavs only scored 5 points in the final 4:43.

2 – Raptors Starters

The Toronto starters scored in double figures, and the Raptors’ size in the backcourt forced the Cavs to refrain from using Craig Porter Jr. and Sam Merrill for long stretches. 

3 – Cavs Bench

The Cleveland bench tonight was a force led by LeVert’s team-high 31.  The Cavs outscored the Raptors bench 55 to 21.

Game Summary

Pascal Siakam notched 36 points, Jakob Poeltl recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds, and the revamped Toronto Raptors regrouped after relinquishing a 19-point lead to secure a 124-121 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

In their inaugural starts for the Raptors, RJ Barrett contributed 19 points and nine rebounds, while Immanuel Quickley added 14 points. The duo was acquired from the Knicks on Saturday in a trade that sent OG Anunoby to New York.

The 19,800-strong sellout crowd erupted in cheers for Toronto-native Barrett during player introductions. Barrett kicked off the scoring with an assist on Quickley’s opening 3-pointer.

Scottie Barnes tallied 20 points, and Dennis Schroder chipped in with 12 points off the bench as Toronto bounced back from a loss to Detroit on Saturday, where the Pistons halted an NBA record-tying 28-game losing streak.

Caris LeVert led the Cavaliers with 31 points, while Donovan Mitchell contributed 26 points. Isaac Okoro, Jarrett Allen, and Sam Merrill each scored 16 points for Cleveland.

In the final minute of the fourth quarter, Okoro and Mitchell missed crucial 3-point attempts with the Cavaliers trailing by two.

The Cavaliers, now 5-3 since the sidelining of Evan Mobley (left knee surgery) and Darius Garland (fractured jaw until February), saw Mitchell go to the free-throw line with less than three seconds remaining. After making the first, a lane violation on the second attempt awarded the ball back to Toronto.

Barnes split a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds left and secured the win by intercepting Cleveland’s long inbounds pass.

Despite building a 59-40 lead midway through the second quarter, Toronto faced a resilient Cavaliers comeback. Mitchell’s 3-pointer with 6:48 remaining in the fourth gave Cleveland a 111-108 lead, marking their first advantage since the opening period.

Up Next

Home versus Wizards Wednesday Night.

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