Yeah that is not a very optimistic title I know. But the Cleveland Cavs as I mentioned this morning have won 7 straight against the Raptors in Cleveland. The also have won the first 11 home dates on their schedule. It will be a very tough task for the Raptors to leave Ohio with a win. That being said nothing is impossible in reality but it would take a performance from the Raptors that we have not seen to this point this season. So let's see what happens. Chris Bosh will not want to lay down and bow to the King I do know that much.
So it is showtime in Cleveland as the Raptors and Cavs are on T.V in Canada and in U.S on NBA TV. Raptors won the tip only to turn it over and Lebron James had the easy jam. Almost like an instant replay the same thing happened a steal and a jam for James. Andrea Bargnani would hit a 3 pointer on the 3rd attempt to score for the Raptors. The Cavs called a time out to acknowledge the fact that Lebron James is now the all time leader in steals for the Cavs. O.K great, big deal, is this the kind of sucking up to Lebron we can expect for the next 2 years? A bad miss inside for Bargnani and that would give the ball back to Cleveland. After an offensive rebound and getting possession of a block Mo Williams would score. Chris Bosh got his 1000th offensive rebound of his career. After the game versus Portland he had two stitches and a bandage as well. But Cleveland had an early 10-3 lead and the Raptors made their 3rd turnover in just the first four minutes. Cavs would turn them all into points including the most recent one.
Things were looking ugly again for the Raptors down 16-5 early on and they were not shooting well. Jose Calderon would make a much needed basket. Calderon on the next trip would take an ill advised 3 point shoot and missed it. Anthony Parker would show him how it's done the next time the Raptors had the ball but it was still 18-10 for the Cavs. James would drive and kick to Daniel Gibson who would nail the 3 point shoot. Gibson would find Lebron of the bounce and hook him up with an easy jam for 2. The Cavs were making it look very easy up 23-12. Jose Calderon would find his long range shot and hit a 3 pointer but it was still 25-15 for the Cavs. Raptors had 5 turnovers and were shooting just 29%. Chris Bosh would look to change that percentage with his first basket on the night. But Lebron James had an answer for that. Chris Bosh would look to attack and get rewarded and sent to the line. He would only convert 1 of 2 and his Raptors were still down by 10 late in the first quarter. Lebron James had a rare miss so lead would stay at 10 with the score 29-19.
The Cavs start the quarter in positive way with a Wally-Z 2-ball followed up but a Daniel Gibson 3-ball after a failed Raptor trip. The Cavs started the quarter on a 7-1 run to start the quarter. This had the look of a long night at the office for the Raptors a Wally-Z 3 ball and it was 41-24. The Cavs were laying a beating on the Raptors that looked much like the games the Raptors played on the west coast. It was now a 45-26 lead with lots of time to play in the 2nd quarter.
Nothing was coming easy for the Raptors. Bosh would take a tough leaner and miss. A much needed offensive rebound and would draw a foul and head to the line making both. O'Neal would then find a cutting Kapono for a basket. On the next trip J.O would find Bosh. He was point his best job at being a 6 foot 11 point guard. Lebron James had seen enough of the J.O show and he put on his own show with a highlight worthy dunk. After that Lebron James would get called for a foul and got a technical foul. Calderon would make it and Anthony Parker who had been fouled by James would get a 3 pointer. Bosh would find Parker again for 3 more.
The Raptors had climbed back to a 49-40 lead for the Cavs. Jermaine O'Neal would get to the line looking to cut into the lead more but he would miss both free throws. The Cavs would wake up and started trading baskets with the Raptors. A nice alley opp play to Bosh would be answered by another Lebron James dunk that he makes look far to easy. Raptors still trailed 53-44. Cleveland despite leading through out had accumulated 3 technical fouls the 3rd going to Ben Wallace. Jose Calderon had made them all. In fact Jose would go on to tie a Raptor record with 51 straight free throws made. The record is tied with Chancey Billups who spent some time with Raps. the Cavs once 19 point lead had been chopped down to just 6 points. Jermaine O'Neal with a rebound off a Bosh miss would jam it home and the lead was now just 4 for the Cavs. Jose Calderon would hit a basket but there was just enough time for Lebron James to hit a buzzer beater 3-ball and the Cavs double their lead late to be up 59-51 at the half.
A positive start to the the 3rd with Andrea Bargnani making the first Raptor shot of the half. But after that the Raptors would go cold and Cleveland would heat up. The Cavs would highlight that fact with a steal and jam for Lebron James to make lead 14 points with the score 67-53. Lebron would later steal it again and the same result. Cleveland was making the Raptors look bad. The Cavs were back on track and rolling. the lead that had been cut to 4 points late in the second was back to 19 with the score 74-55.
Another James jumper and the Cavs had the largest lead of the night at 22 with the score 77-55. This looked like one of those miss matches in the NCAA. You know where UNC plays like Northeastern Michigan Tech. I mean this was totally brutal. Bosh taking an ill advised 3-ball was not going to make this any better. The score was an embarrassing 82-55.
Joey Graham with a jam and one but it was at a time when it meant nothing. Joey had 5 straight points but the game was really not in doubt with the score still 82- 60. Roko Ukic was getting some minutes at least and taking advantage with a drive to the hoop and score. Nice play for Roko and drawing praise from Jack Armstrong on the broadcast. This was a very easy night at the office for Lebron James. Roko would continue to show signs of having some skills with another drive and score plus one. But aside from that this was a Cleveland party and the Raptors were the unhappy guests looking for it to end. The score was 90-67. The Cavs blitzed the Raptors out scoring them 31-16 in the 3rd quarter.
Another bad night of basketball for the Raptors. Bosh was back on the floor but with another game tomorrow night why was he in there? Looks like Jay Triano heard me cause Bosh was out after playing only a couple minutes in the 4th. Roko Ukic was about the only highlight for Raptor fans tonight if any were still watching. The Raptors were down 24 points with the score 95-71. Meanwhile Indiana was likely already in Toronto just kicking back and watching. T.J Ford will be highly motivated to build the Raptor losing streak to 6 games. Jermaine O'Neal would like to end it at the hands of his old team. But to do that it is going to take a much better effort than we have seen tonight.
A cast of reserves was on the floor the Raptors. The same could be said for the Cavs as well. Joey Graham and Roko Ukic were taking advantage of the garbage time to do some good things. But it hardly seemed to matter as the Cavs reserves were scoring just as easy as the starters. This had the feel of the exhibition game the Raptors played here to start the season way back in September. On that night it was the Raptors with a big lead and coasting to victory. A lot has changed since then. A lot of high expectations have coming crashing down for most in the two months since leading up to this game. Lebron Jame was comfortable on the bench with his 31 points in 30 minutes on the night. Kris Humphries was once again out for the Raptors as he continues to sit with knee pain. But for everyone else they should have headaches.
Jay Triano was using these last few minutes as coaching time and calling time outs. Why can't he just let the pain end... please. But I do understand the point of it despite the fact it is not exactly a fan friendly move. The score if you were wondering is 112-94. Cleveland takes this one in a walk 114-94.