Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Records: Raptors (19-4); Cavaliers (4-17)
Where To Watch
Date: Saturday, December 1
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Radio: Sportsnet 590
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Fresh off an overtime win over the defending champion Warriors, the Raptors travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers for their second of four meetings this season.
While Cleveland resides at the bottom of the East with the conference's worst record, Toronto is undoubtedly the hottest team in the NBA - it owns of the league's longest win streak (seven games) and best record. Over the last five games, the team is also the hottest shooting team, connecting on 3-pointers at a 41.4 percent clip while making over 14 a game.
On Thursday, Toronto withstood a 51-point performance from two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant to hang on for the win over Golden State. The Raptors were led by 37 points and eight rebounds from Kawhi Leonard, who continues to ease back into his MVP form. Pascal Siakam set a new career-high with an efficient 26 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field and 7-for-8 shooting from the free throw line.
Kyle Lowry dished out a game-high 12 assists to go along with 10 points and three other Raptors scored in double-figures as well: Serge Ibaka (20), Danny Green (13) and Jonas Valanciunas (12).
It's the second night of a back-to-back for the Cavs, who suffered a 33-point loss at the hands of the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Cleveland has dropped three straight since earning consecutive wins over the Sixers and Rockets last weekend.
Led by 16 points from Jordan Clarkson, five different Cavaliers scored in double-figures in the loss to the Celtics. Among the five were recently acquired Alec Burks, who finished with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists as well as Canadian Tristan Thompson, who added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
In what has been a largely dark season for the Cavs, Thompson has been a bright spot, averaging 11.1 points and a career-high 11.0 rebounds per game. As the Brampton native's 5.0 offensive rebounds per game are good for second in the league, the Raptors must limit the second chances he affords Cleveland's offence - he's averaging 7.8 offensive rebounds in the team's four wins.
Thompson has stepped up in the absence of Kevin Love, who has missed all but four games after undergoing toe surgery in early November. When Love went down, he was leading the team with 19.0 points and 13.5 rebounds per game despite shooting just 32.3 percent from the field. Cleveland expects to be without its five-time All-Star for at least another month.
In addition to Love, the Cavaliers will likely be without George Hill, paving the way for a matchup between Lowry and rookie point guard Colin Sexton. While Sexton has shown flashes of excellence, Lowry will be an extremely tough test.
This is Toronto's first visit to Cleveland since being eliminated from the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. Including the postseason, the Raptors have dropped 11 of their last 12 games at Quicken Loans Arena since 2014.
Through his first 13 career games against the Cavs, Kawhi Leonard is averaging 19.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest - of those 13 games, Leonard has lost to Cleveland just twice.
Saturday night marks the 12th consecutive start for rookie Collin Sexton and the fifth to come opposite an All-Star point guard (Kemba Walker, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Lowry). In his previous four starts against All-Star guards, Sexton is averaging 19.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 43.1 percent from the field.
Cleveland enters with the league's worst scoring offence at 103.1 points per game while Toronto's 117.6 points per game are third-best in the NBA.
Last Time They Played
Date: Oct. 17, 2018
Score: Raptors 116, Cavaliers 104
Raptors: Kyle Lowry - 27 points, eight assists, one steal
Cavaliers: Kevin Love - 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists