CLEVELAND: The Cavs went without a field goal for four critical minutes late in the game and lost their third straight, 99-93 Tuesday to the Toronto Raptors.
The Cavs rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half and held a slim 89-87 lead with 3:11 left, but couldn’t hold on.
Kyrie Irving had 25 points and nine assists, but went scoreless the final eight minutes and missed his final five shots. The Cavs were also hurt by two questionable calls that went against them in the final minute.
Tyler Zeller was flattened trying to catch a pass in the lane from Spencer Hawes with the Cavs down three. No foul was called, forcing the Cavs to foul and send the Raptors to the free-throw line. Irving collided with Amir Johnson at the rim on the Cavs’ ensuing possession, but again no foul was called.
DeMar DeRozan had 33 points for the Raptors and Kyle Lowry had 13 points and nine assists. The Raptors have now beaten the Cavs twice in the last five days as the Cavs’ playoff hopes took another hit.
The Cavs missed 14 consecutive shots to end the first quarter and start the second, allowing the Raptors to build a 14-point lead. Fans were booing, players’ heads were down and a blowout seemed likely.
But the Raptors went scoreless for 5 ½ minutes spanning the end of the second quarter and start of the third, allowing the Cavs to turn a 47-34 deficit into a 48-47 lead early in the third quarter.
Irving played the entire second half and 45 minutes on the night. His only break came at the end of the first quarter and start of the second. Spencer Hawes had 15 points and seven rebounds in his first start and Tristan Thompson had 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Cavs were again without Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles and Anderson Varejao, who are out nursing injuries. None of the three are expected to accompany the team to Oklahoma City for Wednesday’s game against the Thunder.