January 5, 2016 12:57 am
Updated: January 5, 2016 1:03 am

Cavaliers easily cruise past Raptors 122-100

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, left, and Cleveland Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson, right, from Canada, put pressure on Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Cleveland.

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

CLEVELAND – Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 25 points, J.R. Smith had 24 on eight 3-pointers and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 122-100 on Monday night.

Irving, playing his sixth game since returning from a broken left kneecap, was 10 of 16 from the field. The three-time All-Star, injured in Game 1 of last season’s NBA Finals, added eight assists and six rebounds.

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LeBron James, who didn’t play in the fourth quarter, had 20 points and seven assists in 31 minutes as all five Cleveland starters finished in double figures.

Tristan Thompson added 14 points with 11 rebounds, and Kevin Love scored 14 as Cleveland improved to 15-1 at home.

The Cavaliers used a 21-9 run late in the third quarter to finally open up some distance on the Raptors, who were led by Kyle Lowry’s 23 points.

Smith’s 3-pointer midway through the third broke a 69-all tie.

Two dunks and a 3-pointer by James, Irving’s layup and Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer keyed the spurt for Cleveland, which led 90-78 going into the fourth.

Smith’s eight 3s were a season high, and Dellavedova added 11 points. The final margin was Cleveland’s biggest lead.

Love, who didn’t participate in the morning shootaround because he wasn’t feeling well, played 33 minutes and grabbed nine rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points for Toronto, which played without forward DeMarre Carroll (sore right knee). Patrick Patterson scored 15 points and Bismack Biyombo added 10.

Cleveland held a 40-26 rebounding advantage.


Raptors: Lowry, who has three straight double-doubles, was called for a technical foul late in the game. … Lowry scored 27 points Nov. 25 when the Raptors defeated the Cavaliers 103-99 in Toronto. … F Anthony Bennett, selected by Cleveland with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, was inactive and has appeared in only 10 games, averaging 1.9 points.

Cavaliers: Cleveland is 9-1 against the Atlantic Division this season. The only loss came at Toronto. … The Cavaliers have won four straight since moving Thompson into the starting lineup over Timofey Mozgov. … Cleveland made all 11 of its free throw attempts in the first half.


Raptors: Visit Brooklyn on Wednesday.

Cavaliers: Visit Washington on Wednesday.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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