The Toronto Raptors suffered a heartbreaking loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers to snap their five-game win streak.
Leading by as much as 15 points, the Raptors looked like they were going to come away with a wire-to-wire victory before the Cavaliers started charging back. Cleveland didn't take its first lead until there were fewer than five seconds on the clock, when Darius Garland knocked down a pair of free throws that would decide the game's outcome.
OG Anunoby had a look to try and win the game, as did Scottie Barnes on a putback attempt, but neither shot would fall as the Raptors lost 102-101.
For more on the contest, we have you covered with some thoughts below.
1. Darius Garland wills the Cavaliers back into the game
The Cavaliers trailed by as a much as 15 points before Garland led the charge on a comeback in the fourth quarter.
The former top-five pick was a terror with the ball in his hands, creating easy looks for himself and his teammates to pull Cleveland back into the game. He tallied 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, also adding a pair of assists in the frame.
Trailing by one point with only 24 seconds to play, Garland attacked the rim, drawing a foul to give the Cavaliers a chance to win the game. When he converted both free throws, he gave Cleveland its first lead of the game, one it wouldn't surrender.
CLUTCH.@dariusgarland22 nailed two free throws to give us our first lead with 4.8 seconds left. #LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/SmFkxBoxK7- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) November 6, 2021
Garland finished with 21 points, eight assists and a handful of clutch buckets to round out an impressive performance.
2. Scottie Barnes returns to play
After missing two games due to a nagging thumb injury, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft made his return to the lineup versus the Cavaliers.
Picking up right where he left off, Barnes went for 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks, doing a little bit of everything to stuff the stat sheet for the Raptors.
His block on this Ricky Rubio scoop shot in the first half was more like a volleyball spike.
SCOTTIE SAID NIZE THAT pic.twitter.com/TPYqsnPWcA- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 6, 2021
It wasn't the most efficient game for the rookie, shooting 7-for-19 from the field, but it was good to see him back out on the floor.
3. OG Anunoby's breakout season rolls on
From the get-go, Anunoby was attacking on offence. He converted his first four attempts from the field to get rolling and kept the momentum going from there.
Finishing with 23 points while shooting 10-for-21 from the field and 3-for-7 from 3-point range, Anunoby was getting to his spots and scoring with ease.
It helps that he also had a handful of transition buckets, running the lane with a purpose to help Toronto turn defence into offence.
OG- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 6, 2021
OH MY pic.twitter.com/pnAy0RasOm
B-E-A-UTIFUL pic.twitter.com/O4vxn1T3JK- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 6, 2021
He cooled off a bit in the second half, but when the Raptors needed it most, Anunoby stuck a clutch 3-pointer to give the team a five-point lead with under two minutes to play. Toronto would give up the lead and Anunoby had a look at a game-winner at the buzzer, but the shot fell just off the mark.
4. Gary Trent Jr. pads his league-lead in steals with career-high
Trent's development on the defensive end has been one of the biggest stories to the Raptors start of the season. The 22-year-old was brought in as a sharpshooter at the trade deadline last season, but it didn't take long for him to become a pesky perimeter defender that we're so used to seeing under head coach Nick Nurse.
Going in to Friday's game against the Cavaliers, Trent was leading the league in steals (25) and deflections (43). His active hands were on full display in this contest, tallying two steals at the half before ripping off four (!) steals in the third quarter alone.
Trent finished with a career-high six steals, adding to his league lead. It was his third game with five or more steals, which also leads the league.
To add to that, he played a huge role in holding Cleveland's go-to scorer Collin Sexton to just nine points on 4-for-17 shooting, while also contributing 17 points on 3-for-4 shooting from 3-point range, too.
It was a well-rounded game for Trent.
5. The matchup between two top-five picks: Scottie Barnes vs. Evan Mobley
With Barnes back in the lineup, the headliner became a head-to-head matchup between two top-five picks in the 2021 NBA Draft class.
In their first on-court battle, Mobley got the best of Barnes, taking him to the rack for an easy layup.
The battle of 3⃣ & 4⃣. pic.twitter.com/DiwGr5Yzkt- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) November 5, 2021
Mobley's team would also pull off the victory behind a strong contribution of 18 points, five rebounds, two assists and one block.
6. Raptors win streak ends at five
The Raptors five-game win streak comes to an end with this loss, bringing them to just 2-4 at home on the season. They still own the best road record in the NBA at 4-0, but they've had trouble closing games out at Scotiabank Arena.
Even with the loss, the Raptors still hold a solid 6-4 record, still in the playoff picture early on in the season.
7. What's next?
The Raptors will have one day off before hosting Kevin Durant, James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
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