Toronto Raptors Fall to Cleveland Cavaliers, Five-Game Win Streak Snapped
With Pascal Siakam’s return imminent, the Toronto Raptors watched their win streak end in heartbreaking fashion.
In what was billed as the battle of two top-five picks, Evan Mobley took the upper-hand as his 18 points helped lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 102-101 victory. Already a defensive force, Mobley’s evolving offensive skillset makes him one of the brightest young talents in the game today.
“I think they’re special,” said Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff of Scottie Barnes and Mobley Friday. “You watch a lot of the AAU stuff and a lot of that comes from who wants to score the ball. That’s how you get your notoriety, your Twitter followers up and all that stuff that’s become more and more important is offence — and it always has been. Like you always get your name in the paper for scoring the ball. But now you have [two] guys who take pride in being two-way players. And it’s a mix of ‘want to’ and the ability to.
“Both of those guys are uniquely framed, they’re mobile and agile and it gives them an opportunity to be impactful defensively.”
Outside of Mobley, the Cavaliers saw four other players finish in double-figures, including Darius Garland who hit two clutch free throws in the final four seconds of the contest to help the Cavs secure the win.
“If you look at a game in totality, you’re gonna have breakdowns on defence and if you have one where you’re over-aggressive and sometimes you pay for it, you’re probably going to be okay with that,” said Nurse.
“It’s just when you’re breaking down schemes and you’re not doing anything right, and that happens sometimes, when you just have a bad defensive possession or a series of them. We didn’t have too many bad ones, I think most of those mistakes came out of aggressiveness and that’s okay.”
Meanwhile, OG Anunoby led all scores with 23 points while Scottie Barnes dropped 14 points and grabbed nine boards in his return from injury. Gary Trent Jr. scored 17 points of his own while picking up a career high six assists in the win.
At 6-4, the Toronto Raptors are set to begin a tough three-game stretch starting on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets.