Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors Final Score: Raptors top Cavs, 99-93

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavs lost. Again.

The shorthanded Cavaliers battled Tuesday night against the third seed in the Eastern Conference but were unable to come away with the victory. The Raptors topped the Cavs, 99-93.

Richard Sherman Demar Derozan had a crucial steal for Toronto late when he collided with Tyler Zeller as Zeller was trying to receive a pass in the lane.

Footage from said play:

New-zealand-high-school-rugby-hit-rugby-tackle-hit-gifs_medium

There were quite a few "close" calls down the stretch that did not go in favor of the home team. At the end of the day this loss feels as deflating as every other in this stretch. The team had finally been gaining steam and working together, then in this crucial stretch of games they find themselves missing almost 40 ppg and three of their top 6 players from their lineup.

Tonight was an ugly game. Toronto has gotten to where they are this year by playing a very similar style to the one Mike Brown has been trying to implement. They play defense, they don't play particularly fast and they try to take charges/ draw fouls on the other side of the floor. It makes for an ugly game, and it was exceptionally ugly tonight against the undermanned Cavaliers.

Quick thoughts:

  • I like most fans was very frustrated with the officiating tonight. I hate blaming refs because no one call can determine the outcome of a game. But they can kill momentum and the Cavs were on the wrong end of a lot of calls in the final minutes of the game. The margin for error was very slim with the injuries the Cavs have suffered, the iffy calls didn't help.
  • Kyrie Irving was pretty outstanding tonight. He was composed, distributed the ball, was fairly efficient and played good defense. He basically played the entire game and look tired by the fourth quarter.
  • Jonas Valanciunas had a quiet night for Toronto with 2 points and 6 rebounds. Neither he or Tristan Thompson saw much burn in the second half  of the game. Thompson finished with 13 and 9 and appeared to be upset on the bench as Mike Brown rode the hot hands in Tyler Zeller and Spencer Hawes.
  • Tyler Zeller has been pretty awesome this year. He's taken some huge steps forward on defense and is much more assertive on offense. It's been one of the few bright spots in what has been a trying season for the Cavs.
  • Anthony Bennett looked like November/ December Bennett. It sucked. Hopefully he gets back on track tomorrow vs. the Thunder.
  • Kyle Lowry had an awful game for Toronto. He shot 3/15 including 0/9 from the three point line. He did get 9 assists and played some good defense, but his shot was off.
The Cavaliers travel to Oklahoma City tomorrow to face the Thunder at 8 pm ET. They will not be receiving any help from Anderson Varejao, C.J. Miles or Dion Waiters as they will not be travelling with the team. Probably won't be too pretty... I don't know, this just sucks.

ROLL CALL

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