Our editor, Evan Dammarell, says it often: Hell hath no fury like a Collin Sexton snubbed. The Toronto Raptors experienced that firsthand tonight, as a second-half eruption from Sexton led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 116–105 win over the Raptors.
Both teams started the game doing everything humanly possible to not win the game. The Cavaliers turned the ball over seven times in the game’s first five minutes, but the Raptors returned the favor by scoring just 2 points off them. It was an ugly first half, but an even one, as only two points separated the team at intermission.
But Sexton had a disagreement with Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell in the final seconds of the half. And, well, he’s not called Young Bull because he’s got a laissez-faire demeanor about him. Sexton paid the Raptors back in blood and buckets, torching the red shirts for 14 third-quarter points and finishing with a game-high 36.
To be clear, Sexton didn’t have to go it alone. Garland played tag-team with his backcourt partner to blitz the Raptors with five straight buckets out of the half to push a two-point lead to 14, Isaac Okoro knocked down a pair of threes, and the Cavaliers scored 32 points on 65 percent shooting in the quarter to enter the final frame up 16.
The Cavs ended the game the same way they started it: desperately trying to give the game away. A season-high 27 turnovers and ghastly fourth-quarter shooting allowed the North to cut the lead to five with under a minute to play, but the Cavaliers hit enough free throws to survive the comeback attempt.
The Cavs are now just one game behind the Raptors in the standings.
Up next: De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings are in town on Monday night. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.