NBA regular season

New-look Raptors knock off Cavaliers


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New-look Raptors knock off Cavaliers

HOMECOMING. Toronto Raptors forward RJ Barrett (9) shoots the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers guard Sam Merrill (5) defends in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Former New York Knicks core pieces Immanuel Quickley and Canadian star RJ Barrett show off in their Toronto debut as the Raptors escape the Cleveland Cavaliers

Pascal Siakam scored 36 points and the Toronto Raptors defeated the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 124-121 on Monday night (Tuesday, January 2, Manila time).

Scottie Barnes added 20 points for the Raptors, who had lost their previous two games.

RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley made their Toronto debuts after being acquired from the New York Knicks on Saturday. Barrett scored 19 points and Quickley had 14.

Jakob Poeltl added 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Raptors. Dennis Schroder had 12 points.

Caris LeVert scored 31 points and Donovan Mitchell scored 26 for the Cavaliers. Jarrett Allen had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Isaac Okoro and Sam Merrill also scored 16 points apiece.

Toronto took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Merrill’s 3-pointer tied the game at 108 with 7:24 to play, and Mitchell’s trey then gave Cleveland the lead. Toronto scored the next five points to move back in front at 113-111.

Mitchell made 1 of 2 free throws to cut the Raptors’ lead to one with 2:28 left before Allen tied things at 118 with another foul shot 43 seconds later.

Barnes then made a layup with 1:30 to go, and neither team scored again until there was 13.6 seconds remaining — when Barnes drained a free throw. LeVert threw home a dunk, but a pair of free throws from Barrett with seven seconds left helped the hosts hang on.

Toronto led 41-32 after one quarter.

The Raptors used a 12-0 run to take a 19-point lead with 5:59 to play in the second. Cleveland trimmed the margin to 12 on Mitchell’s 3-pointer with 1:55 to play. LeVert’s bank shot from in close and Mitchell’s 18-foot jumper completed the first-half scoring and reduced Toronto’s lead to 67-59.

Toronto shot 50 percent (24-for-48) from the field in the first half, with Siakam scoring 15 points.

Cleveland shot 45.7 percent (21-for-46) overall before the break. Mitchell had 16 first-half points.

Siakam made two free throws with 7:16 left in the third quarter, and the Raptors led by 15. LeVert soon scored five straight points to cut the lead to 10. Allen’s hook shot had Cleveland within seven with 2:50 left in the third quarter, but Toronto led 98-91 heading into the fourth. –

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