Kawhi Leonard was back in the team, but he couldn’t help the Raptors avoid defeat at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Toronto lost 126-101 against the Cavaliers, with Ibaka and Chriss being sent off for fighting.
Leonard missed the game on Sunday, but his 25 points didn’t help the Raptors keep up with the Cavaliers.
Colin Sexton had 28 points for the home team, with Kevin Love recording a double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Cleveland was especially dominant in the second half of the game.
But little will the fans remember from this game apart from the fight between Ibaka and Chriss in the third quarter. It all started when Ibaka ended up on the floor after battling with Chriss for position. The Congolese-Spanish player responded by shoving Chris from behind and punching him. Chriss threw a punch himself before the two were separated by their teammates.
Players and coaches stepped in when the fight erupted, but it looks like no one got a good view of the whole incident. Speaking after the game, the Raptors’ Head Coach Nick Nurse said it was always going to be concerning when something like that occurs during a game.
In the end, the officials decided to eject both players, who will have time to cool off as the two teams will not be playing against each other this season.
At the moment this fight happened, Cleveland was leading 91-77, and by the time the game entered its final minute, the Cavaliers increased that lead to 27 points.
Raptors Looked Tired
A total of six Cleveland players scored more than 10 points, including Cedi Osman with 19 and Ante Zizic with 17. On the other hand, Toronto only managed to take a brief lead in the first half, never making a serious threat afterwards. This was the team’s 20th loss of the season.
Pascal Siakam scored 15 points, Kyle Lowry had 14, and together with Leonard, they were the only Raptors’ players to score a double figure. This has been the third straight away game for Toronto, and that may be the reason the team looked tired and struggling throughout the match.
On the court, the Raptors were a totally different team from the one that beat Miami on Sunday. The Raptors won that game 125-104 without Leonard, scoring 21 three-pointers, only one short of the franchise all-time record.
The Raptors will have a couple of days to rest, while their next match will be on Thursday when the Lakers arrive at Scotiabank Arena.