While it wasn’t quite the 117-88 blowout that the Cavs delivered at home to the New York Knicks in their season opener, the three biggest components of the Cleveland Cavaliers super team — LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love — proved once again to be too powerful to overcome when they defeated the Raptors in Toronto on Friday night.
The threesome scored 71 points on Wednesday, with Love registering a double-double and King James kicking the season off with a triple-double. On Friday night, Kyrie Irving led the team in scoring once again with 26 points. LeBron was good for 21 points, eight boards, and seven assists, while K-Love had his second double-double in as many games with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Tristan Thompson had a double-double of his own with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Love was the only person to record two blocked shots, while both J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert had three steals.
For Toronto, the statistical stand-outs were DeMar DeRozan, with a game-high 32 points, and Jonas Valanciunas with a game-high 17 rebounds. Jonas also had 10 points, earning him the only other double-double of the game. Jakob Poeltl was the biggest (and most efficient) contributor from either bench, with seven points and seven rebounds in just 11 minutes of play.
As the teams prepared for Friday night’s game, both Iman Shumpert and Key Felder had been listed as day-to-day for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as they had both been placed on the league’s concussion protocol. Shumpert did end up playing (scoring six points in 20 minutes), while Felder sat out. Meanwhile, Channing Frye was not in attendance, as his mother died on Thursday. He has been excused indefinitely. The injury report from ESPN also noted that Lucas Nogueira of the Toronto Raptors wouldn’t be playing, as he continues to be listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury.
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Eastern Conference Standings
As the Friday night NBA games finish up, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be tied for first place in the Eastern Conference at 2-0 with the winners of Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets. The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks are both 1-0 with games scheduled for Saturday night. With a record of 1-1, the Raptors find themselves tied in the Eastern Conference with the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and the losers of the Heat/Hornets game.
Toronto Raptors Upcoming Schedule
Toronto will take the rest of the weekend off before hosting the Denver Nuggets (1-0) on Monday night. They travel to Washington, D.C., to play the Wizards (0-1) on Wednesday before returning to home to host the Miami Heat (2-0) on Friday night.
Cleveland Cavaliers Upcoming Schedule
The Cavs are scheduled for back-to-back games, returning home Saturday night to host the Orlando Magic, who are off to a slow 0-2 start to the season. Next week, Cleveland has two more games at home, hosting the Houston Rockets (1-1) on Tuesday night and the Boston Celtics (1-1) on Thursday night. On Saturday night, they’re on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers (0-1).
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]