The Toronto Raptors(17-25) woke up Collin Sexton on Sunday night, and based on the results, that was not a good idea. Before the end of the first half, Sexton and Norman Powell got into an altercation. Both players did some talking, and both Sexton and Powell were assessed technical fouls.
However, that altercation motivated Sexton, who scored 23 of his game-high 36 points(13/24, 6-9 from three-point range) in the second half as Cleveland(16-26) defeated the Raptors 116-105 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. With the loss, Toronto has now lost eight straight.
After the game, Sexton discussed what happened with him and Powell.
“I think it was half-court,” he said. “Norman Powell tried to set a screen. I got over it. They were jawing earlier when I was at the free-throw line, said some stuff back. I don’t back down.”
Following the altercation, Cavaliers C Jarrett Allen, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds on Sunday night, saw something different in Sexton.
“You saw a different fire in Collin’s eyes after what happened at the end of the first half,” Allen said. “He wanted to go after Norman Powell. He wanted to go after all those guys.”
Cleveland trailed by five after the first quarter, which usually means a loss for this team. The Cavaliers are 2-20 this season when trailing after the first quarter, but Sunday was a different story. Cleveland stormed back in the second quarter and had a lead at halftime. Cleveland had a great third quarter and outscored the Raptors by 14 to take a 91-75 lead into the fourth. The Cavaliers led by as much as 22 in the fourth quarter.
However, turnovers plagued the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter. Cleveland committed eight of their season-high 27 turnovers in that quarter. Ultimately, Toronto was able to cut the lead to five late in the game. However, Cleveland was able to hold them off.
Sexton showed a lot of grit and toughness on Sunday night, and the Cavs did as well. That situation with Powell could have gone either way, but fortunately for the Cavs, it inspired Sexton.
Cleveland ends their four-game homestand on Monday night when they host the Sacramento Kings.