Sports

LeBron James: Toronto Raptors 'in a better place' than Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James: Toronto Raptors 'in a better place' than Cleveland Cavaliers

They know who they are at this point in the season, and obviously, you guys know about us.

On the other side, James pointed to the Raptors' continuity, especially with the two key cogs in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan leading the way.

In the first game of an ESPN doubleheader on Wednesday night, the Toronto Raptors will travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers in a matchup of two of the East's top three teams.

The Raptors handled the Cavaliers easily in their first meeting on January 11, 133-99, and will look to prove once again they are the team to beat in the East in Wednesday's showdown. Toronto won despite Kyle Lowry (bruised tailbone) and Serge Ibaka (suspension) missing the game, thanks in part to Fred VanVleet's 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas' 15-point, 18-rebound double-double. After the game, DeRozan was vocal in his criticism of the officials.

Magic: Tracy McGrady, who played four seasons in Orlando, was inducted into the Magic Hall of Fame before the game. Tuesday's victory in Orlando moved Toronto to 24-12 away from the ACC this year.

Although the Cavaliers got power forward Kevin Love back from injury prior to Monday's 124-117 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, they were still without the services of center Tristan Thompson (sprained right ankle), guard Rodney Hood (lower back strain), small forward Cedi Osman (left hip flexor) and power forward Larry Nance Jr.

More news: Senators Hold Election Security Hearing After Releasing Recommendations For 2018

Toronto's reserves proved again they can be a factor in deciding a game, delivering a stellar fourth-quarter defensive effort.

Orlando opened the third quarter with a run of its own.

Molly Qerim credits DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love for sharing their struggles with mental illness.

His head coach, Dwane Casey, echoes that sentiment. Lowry played 37 minutes, scoring a game-high 25 points to go with five rebounds and eight assists.

Toronto's shooting splits were pretty comparable to Cleveland's at 62.7/66.7/60, but the major difference was Toronto having five more offensive rebounds and three fewer turnovers than the Cavs, giving them 11 more shot attempts in the half.


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