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Raptors beat Cavs 108-105 in season opener


TORONTO – Pascal Siakam had 23 points and 11 rebounds and the Toronto Raptors used an angry comeback in the fourth quarter to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in their opening game of the season on Wednesday.

Gary Trent Jr added 19 points, while OG Anunoby finished with 18 points for the Raptors, whose six players scored double. Scottie Barnes and Fred VanVleet finished with 15 points each, while Precious Achiuwa scored 10.

Cleveland’s highly rated newcomer Donovan Mitchell leads the Cavs with 31 points.

The Raptors came back from an eight-point deficit to start the fourth inning, and as Barnes worked his muscles up the ring, flexing a celebratory bicep on his way back to the court, his basket was over. match with the score 92-92.

VanVleet’s steal resulted in a thunderous dunk from Barnes that kept the Scotiabank Center crowd on their toes and put Toronto ahead with a 3:31 lead. Trent’s three-pointer, from in front of Cleveland’s bench, turned it into a four-point game.

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The Cavs took control with 19.9 seconds remaining after Barnes was whistled for travel. Siakam fouled three seconds later, and two of Mitchell’s free throws cut the difference to two points.

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Barnes spotted a sprinting Achiuwa, who sealed the victory with a skewer with 0.7 to play.

The Cavs, who haven’t made it to the knockout stages since 2018, acquired Mitchell in an off-season blockbuster deal with Utah, bringing them into the Eastern Conference controversy.

The Raptors made almost no changes to the team that found their groove in the second half of last season on their way to 48 wins. They finished fifth in the East and were knocked out by Philadelphia in the first leg of the knockout round.

Their opening goal came after the longest season in five years and the crowd cheered as VanVleet addressed the fans before the end, thanking them for their support.

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“Looking forward to a great year. Have fun,” he said.

A 12-0 Raptors win lasted the first and second quarters taking Toronto to 33-22. But the Cavs regained their 13-0 lead capped by a Mitchell jump, and extended their advantage to 57-51 at halftime.

Rookie Christian Koloko’s first NBA shot was a huge throwback, part of the Raptors’ campaign to close the game at the end of the third quarter. But the Cavs overcame Toronto 11-3 to the end of the bracket, and led 84-76 with a quarter of game time.

The Cavs lost Darius Garland in the first half to a left eye injury.

FORGET

Montreal’s Khem Birch (knee) and Chris Boucher (hamstring), plus Otto Porter Jr (hamstring) sit out the game. Porter, who helped Golden State win the NBA championship last season, is yet to play for his new team because of his nagging injury.

ELECTION DAY

The Raptors donned “VOTE” warm-up shirts on the chest, ahead of the US midterm elections on November 8th, the NBA has been a strong advocate for voter rights, with many initiatives carrying voting rights including the use of the arena as a voting center.

This season, the league will stop playing on Election Day, but all 30 teams will compete on November 7, the eve of midterms.

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NEXT

The Raptors visit Brooklyn to play the Nets on Friday, then continue a tough early-season schedule with two games in Miami before heading home for a pair against Philly.

“I know a lot of people say we have a really tough schedule to start here, and I’m not denying it by saying it doesn’t really matter who we play,” the coach said. Nick Nurse said. “We have to go out and play regardless of who it is that people think is good or not supposed to be good.”

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on October 19, 2022.

& copy 2022 Canadian Press

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