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Gameblog: Cavs vs. Raptors

By George Thomas Published: February 3, 2009

Post-mortem:  Cavs 101, Raptors 83
Believe it or not, the game shouldn't have been close.  The Cavs jumped out to a 23 point lead at one point, but the Raptors proved ferocious cutting it to eight on a few occasions.
The difference in the game:  the fourth quarter when the Cavs got back into a defensive frame of mind.  Coach Mike Brown was still in awe of two plays that LeBron James made in that period, the most obvious being a monster rejection of a would-be Chris Bosh dunk.
The second involved turning what could have been a Jermaine O'Neal dunk into a turnover.
But just as much credit goes to Daniel Gibson for pacing the Cavs with 10 four quarter points.  He hit 4-of-4 shots in the quarter, including two three-pointers.
Overall the Cavs held the Raptors to 39.7 percent shooting in the game and a rather anemic 8 percent from the three-point arc.
Mike Brown on the defensive effort in the fourth quarter:

In the fourth quarter, LeBron came out and set the tone defensively.  He was really good at that end and everyone followed  and when that happens it’s exciting to see.
LeBron James on scoring his 12,000th career point, the youngest to do so that quickly:
It’s definitely an honor to go out there every night and do the things I do as an individual.  I was blessed with a god-given ability.  I’m getting better every year and everyday and never taking a day off. To be able to do it all in a Cavs uniform is great.
At the half:  For all practical purposes this game is over.  Feel free to send someone to section 128 in press row to awaken me when it's over.
The Cavaliers are shooting a ridiculous 61 percent from the three-point line at the half.  LeBron James has his inside and outside games working and eight players have scored.  With a team record 23 consecutive wins on line, it looks like it's a foregone conclusion at this point.  I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
Game: Cavs (37-9) vs. Toronto Raptors (19-30)
Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio. Radio:  WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM).
Starters: Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilguaskas (C); Wally Szczerbiak (G); Mo Williams (G).  Raptors:  Jermaine O'Neal (F); Chris Bosh (F); Andrea Bargnani (C); Anthony Parker (G); Jose Calderon (G).
Injured and inactive: Eric Snow (knee); Delonte West (wrist); Tarence Kinsey (ankle).  Raptors Kris Humphries.
Officials: Tony Brothers, Derrick Collins, Eric Lewis.
Streaking:  Cavaliers have won two consecutive. The Cavs have lost two consecutive.
Two things to look for:
  • No Sasha tonight, so what will Wally Szczerbiak's first start look like? He's been shooting at a 70 percent clip in his last three games (12-of-17).
  • Chris Bosh will forever be dangerous; forget about the talk that's swirling around him and not re-signing with the Raptors in '10.  He can shoot outside and he's got a strong interior game.  Whether he gets much support remains to be seen.
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on Mo Williams' renewed chances of making the All-Star team:
‘’If he can go to the game, it doesn’t matter how he gets there because they’re not going to put an asterisk by it or anything like that.   He’s not going to have an asterisk by it when he tells  his grandkids.  He’s an all-star and that’s what we believe he is.  That’s the way he’s played for us, so hopefully it does happen.’’
From the locker room:
Williams on his All-Star chances:
‘’Why wouldn’t I?  That’s a great opportunity.  It’s a dream. I always want it to happen, but you kind of just let it happens.  If it does, it does. You just want to try to keep an open mind about it.’’
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