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Gameblog: Cavs vs. Toronto Raptors - The Aftermath

By George Thomas Published: December 9, 2008

Post Mortem:  Sorry for no halftime fellas, but my laptop is getting a bit buggy with wireless.
Tonight proved to be a night for the record books as Z and LeBron set individual ones for rebounds and steals respectively and the team set a league record by winning their ninth consecutive game by 12 or more points.  They also extended records already established by winning their 12th in a row at home and 17-of-18 their last 18.
But let's get down to the nitty gritty.  This is one the Cavs won with offense and defense in the third quarter when they out scored the Raptors 31-16.  They had five steals, forced nine turnovers and had 11 fastbreak points to blow the game open. 
Defensively, they held Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal to a combined two points in the quarter. While LeBron led them in scoring, he got help from guard Mo Williams with seven points.  James continues to impress with his lockown defense while, Wililams may have played his most balanced game on the year tonight.
From the way they've extended this win streak, one thing is becoming abundantly clear.  The blase attitude that it only matters as long as they get to the playoffs is gone.  They understand the value of beating teams early and often.  It's the right attitude to carry throughout the season and, yes, the playoffs.
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on the team coming back with the right attitude in the second half:

For a little bit there, I thought we got distracted by the referees and it kind of took us away from what our objective was for a little bit there,’’ Brown said.  ‘’The exciting thing about it was our group bounced back as a whole.  I didn’t even have to say anything to them about it.
From the locker room:
It means a lot more to me what Z did more than I did myself.  With everything he went through early in his career with foot injuries then going from losing season to losing season to losing season…to put his name in the record books is unbelievable for Z and after he’s done his name and jersey will hang in the rafters in Cleveland.

Game: Cavs (18-3) vs. Toronto Raptors (8-12)
Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters:  Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G). Raptors:  Chris Bosh (F); Jermaine O'Neal (F); Andrea Bargnani (C); Jose Calderone (G); Anthony Parker (G).
Inactives:  Cavs:  Eric Snow, Jawad Williams, Lorenzen Wright.  Toronto:  Nathan Jawai.
Officials:  Joe Crawford, Matt Boland, Joe Frote
Streaking:  The Cavaliers are winner of eight in a row, 11 at home.  Toronto has lost four-in-a-row. Three Things to Watch:
  • The Raptors start three forwards in Jermaine O'Neal, Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh.  Bosh will get the lion's share of points, but depending on which of these guys starts at the center position, Zydrunas Ilgauskas could find himself on the bench early depending upon matchups.  He's looking to break the team record for rebounds that is currently held by Brad Daugherty.
  • The teams do not matchup well at all because of those starting forwards.  What's key is watching who LeBron is defending and who's defending him.  Lately, he's been a beast on the defensive side of the ball holding Charlotte's Gerald Wallace and Indiana's Danny Granger to one and four points respectively.
  • It's a night for records to fall.  Ilgauskas, as mentioned, is four away from the rebound record and James needs just one steal to best Mark Price's team record in that category.Quotable:
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on the possibility of his team breaking a record for consecutive wins by 12 or more points, which is currently eight:
That was news to me when they told me. If you get a record, great.  I know for me, I’m not searching for records. There’s only one thing I’m searching for.
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