1222 GMT February 17, 2020
The Raptors nearly let a big lead slip away in the fourth quarter before holding on to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-109 on Thursday night, The Associated Press reported.
Serge Ibaka scored 26 points, Kyle Lowry had 23 and Norman Powell made big plays down the stretch after Cleveland cut a 14-point deficit to 105-104.
Powell came through with eight consecutive points in the final minute, hitting a three-pointer, scoring on a layup after making a steal and sinking three foul shots to seal the win.
"That was anybody's game from start to finish, to be honest," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "You’ve just got to grind it out and find a way."
Powell's late-game flurry helped the Raptors stifle a comeback bid by the Cavaliers, who trailed 90-76 early in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland trimmed its deficit to one on three occasions and had a chance to tie the game, but Darius Garland missed the second of two free throws with 1:18 to play, leaving Toronto's lead at 105-104.
Lowry was selected as a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star team Thursday, the sixth time he'll appear in the game. Pascal Siakam, named an All-Star starter last week, scored 19 points and Powell had 16.
The Raptors held a postgame celebration to honor Lowry's selection.
"It was cool, man, because I wouldn’t be here without my teammates," he said. "Those guys literally let me lead them and I love them for it. Being there with P (Siakam), it's going to be awesome."
The Raptors are 34-14 despite losing Kawhi Leonard from last season's NBA championship team. Toronto trails only Milwuakee in the Eastern Conference.
"It wasn't just a tremendous player like Kawhi," Cavaliers coach John Beilein said.
"They have a lot of the pieces that you need to win at the level they've been winning at."
Kevin Love and Collin Sexton each scored 23 points for Cleveland, which has lost nine of 10 overall and nine in a row at home.
Toronto scored 11 straight points late in the third quarter to go ahead 88-75. Lowry converted a three-point play, and Ibaka and Powell hit 3-pointers.
Toronto pushed the lead to 100-90 before Cleveland rallied again. The Cavaliers haven't won at home since December 23 when they defeated Atlanta.
Cleveland committed 23 turnovers, with the most crucial coming on Powell's steal of a bad pass by Kevin Porter Jr. and fast-break basket, which pushed the lead to 110-104.
The teams played twice in Toronto, with the Raptors winning both games by 20 points.