Season Series: Raptors 2-0
While the Toronto Raptors won both of their previous meetings with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, neither was a runaway victory. In their first match up of the season, Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors with 20 points and 18 points, eight assists, respectively.
In their most recent road win against the Cavaliers, DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 33 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, to save the Raptors after they surrendered a 14-point lead. Ross had another strong game against Cleveland, scoring 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.
Toronto is looking for its fourth straight victory over the Cavaliers. After a Chicago Bulls victory against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, the Raptors and Bulls are tied for third place in the Eastern Conference standings. While the Cavaliers are playing for next year, the Raptors are playing for postseason positioning.
What To Watch
Kyle Lowry vs. Jarrett Jack: All-Star Kyrie Irving has been sidelined with a strained biceps tendon. Former Raptor Jarrett Jack has slid into his starting spot and is putting up numbers, including a season-high 31-point, 10-assist double-double on Sunday night in a victory against the New York Knicks. During Toronto’s last trip to Cleveland, Kyle Lowry had one of his worst outings of the season, shooting just 3-for-15 from the floor, including an 0-for-9 effort from beyond the arc. Don’t expect a repeat performance.
Minutes played for Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan: In Sunday’s victory against the Atlanta Hawks, Lowry played just 27 minutes for the Raptors. After the game, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey explained that the team is trying to find additional rest for Lowry and DeMar DeRozan whenever possible during the home stretch of the regular season.
Terrence Ross letting it fly: In two games versus the Cavaliers, Terrence Ross has scored 39 points on 16-for-29 shooting. He has also connected on seven three-pointers. Since tweaking his hip against the Oklahoma City Thunder last Friday, Ross has been quiet offensively. If Tuesday’s game follows the script of the previous two Toronto victories, that will change.
“We just talked with the medical people and as an organization, we are going to try and keep his minutes down as much as possible. It’s hard, believe me, as a coach and for him as a competitor. It looks like we’re going at each other but we both understand the situation.” – Dwane Casey on monitoring Kyle Lowry’s minutes late in the season
“We’ve recognized we have come out in games with slow starts. We have picked it up. We’ve just got to be better. Especially as it comes down to playoffs. Every possession is going to count.” – Amir Johnson on the team’s early-game struggles
“I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win. I think we’ve proven that since the second half of the season. You don’t have to tell me twice that I have to play more minutes. I’m ready to do my job and help my team. That’s my mindset. Every time I come I’m, I’m trying to come in with energy and help the team win games.” – Greivis Vasquez on stepping up if team needs to limit minutes for Lowry and DeRozan
Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Terrence Ross (F), Amir Johnson (F), Jonas Valanciunas (C)
Raptors: Patrick Patterson – right ulnar collateral sprain (out)
Cavaliers: Anthony Bennett – left patellar tendon strain (out), Carrick Felix – left patellar stress fracture (out), Sergey Karasev – right knee patellar tendonitis (out), Kyrie Irving – left biceps strain (out), C.J. Miles – left ankle sprain (TBD)
By The Numbers: Raptors vs. Cavaliers
|2013-14 AVERAGES||2013-14 RANKINGS|
Last Time They Met: Raptors 99, Cavaliers 93 – Feb. 25th, 2014