On Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers began the 2022-23 season north of the border in Toronto against the Raptors. The expectations are high with the addition of Donovan Mitchell, and some believe the Cavs can compete for an NBA title.
In the second quarter, Cleveland lost point guard Darius Garland(eye) to injury; in the second quarter, Garland was inadvertently hit in the eye by Gary Trent Jr. He would leave the game and not return.
Without Garland, Cleveland would take an 84-76 lead into the fourth quarter. However, Toronto outscored the Cavs 32-21 in the final quarter to defeat Cleveland 108-105 at Scotiabank Arena.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Raptors.
Donovan Mitchell was impressive in his Cavs debut. He had 31 points (the most by a Cavs player in their debut)and nine assists. He also added two steals. Without Garland, Mitchell carried the load, but it wasn’t enough. He was a team-best +10.
Cedi Osman: The Cavs trailed the Raptors 28-22 after the first quarter, but Osman came off the bench and sparked Cleveland. He scored 13 of his 17 points in the second quarter, and the Cavs outscored Toronto 35-23 in the quarter to take a 57-51 lead at the break. Osman, who made three threes in the quarter, was a game-best +14 in the second quarter.
–Jarrett Allen had his usual double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and added two blocks. Allen did a great job with rim protection, as the Raptors shot only 42% from the field.
Not So Great:
Turnovers: Cleveland had 17 turnovers in this one; Garland was the biggest culprit with five. It’s hard to win any NBA game with that many turnovers, and it becomes even more difficult on the road against a good team like the Raptors.
Fourth Quarter: As previously mentioned, the Cavs took an 84-76 lead into the fourth quarter, but Toronto went on a 14-6 run to start the fourth to tie the game at 90. The Cavs would push their lead to five at 97-92 with just under five minutes to go. However, the Raptors would finish the game on a 16-8 run. Cleveland shot 0/6 from downtown in the fourth and had five turnovers. Conversely, the Raptors were red-hot from deep as they 62% from three-point range.
Cleveland lost on the road to a very good team without one of the best players for most of the game. They have nothing to be ashamed of in this one. We were hoping to see more Garland and Mitchell together, but injuries happen. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious. The team was a little sloppy with the ball, but it’s game 1 of 82, so there is plenty of time to clean things up.
Cleveland will go on the road again as they face the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
Best of the Rest:
Cleveland had five players in double figures on Tuesday night. Evan Mobley had 14 points and six rebounds; Caris LeVert had 10 points, five rebounds, and seven assists.
For the Raptors, who had six players in double figures, including all five starters, Pascal Siakam led the way with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals. Trent Jr. poured in 19 points, including four threes, and O.G. Anunoby chipped in with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals.