Saturday, February 27, 2010

Overtime Explosion Pushes Cavs Past Raptors

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

It took 5 quarters to determine a victor as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 126-118 in overtime Friday night. LeBron James finished with 36 points but perhaps it was Mo Williams' two 3-pointers in overtime that put the final dagger in the Raptors.

Friday's game versus the Raptors was Williams' second game back from injury and like Thursday's game in Beantown, he didn't disappoint. Williams' 22 points (6 in overtime) and 6 assists helped the wine and gold's NBA best 45 wins become 46.

Another story in Friday's game was the absence of two key bigmen for both teams (Chris Bosh for Toronto and Shaquille O'Neal for Cleveland). The absence opened up the floor for the 3-point shot, an attribute both teams specialize in. Both teams combined to make 19 3-point field goals and 222 points during regulation. The difference came in overtime as the Cavs outscored Toronto 15-7.

The bright spot for the Raptors was the play of Andrea Bargnani; His 24 points and 4 rebounds helped push the game into overtime. To push the NBA's best team (record wise) into overtime without your best player is quite a feat, and lets face it Chris Bosh means more to the Raptors than Shaq does to the Cavs. This sort of result shouldn't be a surprise for Cavaliers fans. In the three meetings with the Raptors this season, Cleveland is only 2-1 including this game which went into overtime.

Next up, the Cleveland Cavaliers will face the New York Knicks on Monday. New York will once again try to stake a bid for LeBron James but will have to do it from a far, as the Knicks come to Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs are 2-0 against the Knicks this season including a 113-106 win the last time they met. The game starts at 7:00 p.m.