LeBron James recorded 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers won for the ninth time in the past 10 games, posting a 112-106 victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jose Calderon scored 19 points, and Kevin Love added 18 points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland, which has won four consecutive games. Rodney Hood tallied 17 points and Jeff Green had 12 as the Cavaliers maintained possession of third place in the Eastern Conference by a half-game over the Philadelphia 76ers.
DeMar DeRozan had 19 points and seven assists for the Raptors, who have lost back-to-back games and five of their past eight. Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas registered 17 points and 10 rebounds, Serge Ibaka added 16 points and 12 boards, and Pascal Siakam had 10 points.
The Raptors maintained their two-game Eastern Conference lead over Boston after the Celtics lost to Milwaukee later Tuesday night. Boston visits Toronto on Wednesday.
The Raptors made things interesting near the finish as Norman Powell scored seven points during a 10-0 run that trimmed a 14-point deficit to 108-104 with 11.1 seconds left.
Love and Hood each made two free throws down the stretch as Cleveland held on.
Toronto cut its eight-point halftime deficit to five early in the third quarter before Cleveland rattled off nine straight points to take a 74-60 edge on Hood’s jumper with 7:12 remaining.
DeRozan’s three-point play with 9.9 seconds left in the quarter moved the Raptors within 86-78 entering the final stanza. Fred VanVleet opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer before Green tallied five straight points to push the margin up to 91-81 with 9:26 left.
Toronto trailed 95-88 after a dunk by Siakam with 6:39 remaining before Green answered with a 19-foot jumper to begin a 9-2 burst. A three-point play by James culminated the run and gave the Cavaliers a 104-90 lead with 3:20 left.
Hood’s basket made it 108-94 with 1:46 remaining before Toronto began its late charge.
Cleveland shot 56.4 percent from the field in the first half and took a 60-52 lead into the break.
The Cavaliers used a 12-3 burst that was capped by Hood’s dunk to take a 45-36 edge with 6:24 remaining in the second quarter. The advantage reached 56-40 on Love’s 3-pointer with 3:33 to play before the Raptors finished the half with a 12-4 spurt.
Overall, Cleveland outshot Toronto from the floor 49.4 percent to 44.7 percent.
—Field Level Media