Varejao’s slam helps Cavs edge Raptors
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – LeBron James scored 29 points, Anderson Varejao
slammed in a rebound with 16 seconds left, and Morris Peterson’s jumper at the
buzzer rimmed out, preserving Cleveland’s 86-85 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Varejao finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have
won five of six . Larry Hughes scored 14 points for Cleveland, and Aleksandar
Pavlovic added 10 points off the bench. Drew Gooden also grabbed 13 boards for
Chris Bosh scored 24 points and pulled down 10 boards for the Raptors, who had
won 10 of 12 entering the game. Andrea Bargnani finished with 18 points and
seven rebounds, and Jose Calderon added 10 points for Toronto.
Trailing 85-84 late in regulation, the Cavs called a play to work an open
shot from the corner for Pavlovic, whose look was clean, but he could not
make the three. Fortunately for the Cavs, Varejao made an incredibly athletic
play, leaping over Bosh, grabbing the rebound high off the glass with his
right hand, and slamming it through the net in one swift motion, giving the
Cavs a one-point lead with 16 seconds left.
After a T.J. Ford missed layup the ball was tipped out of bounds, but the
officials did not know off of who, and so a jump ball was called. Bosh won the
tip for Toronto, but tapped the ball a little too strong, leaving a foot race
between Cleveland’s Eric Snow and Ford for the ball. Ford grabbed the ball and
called timeout, leaving two seconds on the clock.
The ensuing play worked to perfection, with Peterson coming wide open off of a
screen, but he rushed his shot, took it off-balance, and the ball rimmed
out as the buzzer sounded, preserving the Cleveland win.
The Cavs had led the even-matched contest, 71-70, entering the fourth quarter.
Toronto led after one quarter of play, 25-23, and 48-44 at the half.
The loss snapped Toronto’s eight-game winning streak at home…The Cavs have
won 8 of 10 against Toronto…Cleveland shot 3-of-15 from behind the arc.