Cavs blow out Raptors, snap season best four game win streak

Donovan Mitchell played like he had this game circled.

Cleveland came into this game losers of three straight, recently embarrassed by the Hawks in blowout fashion. The Cavs were also 0-3 against Toronto this season.

Combining the fact that Donovan Mitchell was 7-27 for 20 points in his last two meetings vs the Raptors, it’s safe to say he was ready for this one.

This is what Spida said after a third loss to the Raptors in December.

This time around, Cleveland handed Toronto its largest loss of the season. The Cavs lead the NBA with 27 double digit wins and the Raptors failed to find consistent offence behind Pascal Siakam for much of the game.

Mitchell’s revenge

He looked more like the guy who had 31 points in Toronto during the season opener. O.G. Anunoby rightfully got a lot of credit for defending the four time All-Star since, but Mitchell did a great job navigating screens and using his quickness to have O.G. going the wrong way at times.

Donovan had 22 first half points, putting the Cavs up double digits before the break.

Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland also played a huge part in that lead. Allen specifically killed the Raptors on pick and roll and running the floor in transition. He had seven dunks for his 23 points, while Garland added 11 assists.

Despite that and early technicals from Nick Nurse and Scottie Barnes not being happy with the refs, the Raptors were within four at one point in the second half. Siakam’s perimeter shot was going, cutting the deficit to 68-64. Then Mitchell put the game away with another 13 point heat wave, including a banked in three that you just simply have to shrug at as a defence.

Mitchell finished with 35 points and eight treys, all coming in the first three quarters.

What’s missing for the Raps?

To say Fred VanVleet has been a polarizing player amongst Raptors fans this season is an understatement. Louis tackled some of the discourse a few days ago.

It’s not known yet if Fred will be back on Tuesday (Nick Nurse certainly hoped so postgame) but in the three games he’s been out since welcoming his third child, the Raptors offensive efficiency has been notably different.

O.G. Anunoby’s offence is also MIA. Since his return over those same three games, he’s averaging eight points on 37 percent from the field and 2-12 from three. More importantly, O.G. hasn’t been taking many shots. Anunoby had seven attempts in each of these back to back contests, but only took one shot in the first half. The majority of his looks came with the game already out of reach. It seems right now that he doesn’t know where to get his looks, maybe a VanVleet return could help with that.

Up Next: The Raptors go back home for a crucial contest against the Bulls for tiebreaker purposes before a tough five game road trip.

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