NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 21st (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (22-33) at Toronto Raptors (29-25), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will take their six-game winning streak and new big man into Friday night's matchup at Air Canada Centre versus the Toronto Raptors.
The Cavs haven't lost since Feb. 5 and have taken three straight on the road.
Before Thursday's trade deadline, the Cavaliers acquired big man Spencer Hawes from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Earl Clark, center Henry Sims and two second-round picks.
"We felt adding a player of Spencer's caliber and experience will complement our frontcourt rotation well and we are very excited to have him in Cleveland," said acting general manager David Griffin.
Hawes is expected to be in uniform Friday night.
The Cavs may not need him the way they've been playing.
Over this six-game winning streak, Cleveland has held the opposition to an average of 93.6 points per game. Even the offense, a season-long struggle for the Cavaliers, has improved. During the win streak, the Cavs are averaging 103.8 ppg.
On Wednesday, the Cavs bested the Orlando Magic, 101-93 at Quicken Loans Arena to extend the win streak to six.
Kyrie Irving scored 22 points with seven assists and seven rebounds, while Luol Deng tallied 17 points, Tyler Zeller chipped in 16, and Tristan Thompson had 16 points with 14 rebounds.
The overall streak is Cleveland's longest since an eight-game run from March 8-24, 2010, when LeBron James roamed the sidelines for the Cavs.
"We're a little more comfortable with what we're doing down the stretch," Cavs head coach Mike Brown said.
Dion Waiters (left knee hyperextension), C.J. Miles (left ankle sprain) and Anderson Varejao (sore back) did not travel with the team.
The Raptors saw a three-game winning streak come to an end Wednesday night, at home to the Chicago Bulls.
Jimmy Butler blocked DeMar DeRozan's jumper for the lead with 2.4 seconds to play. Butler split two at the line, then DeRozan's heave at the horn didn't fall.
DeRozan finished with a game-high 32 points for Toronto. Kyle Lowry tallied 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds in defeat. No other Toronto player scored in double figures.
Toronto trailed by as many as 15 in the third, but fought back valiantly.
"That was a playoff game," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said. "That's something our players have to get used to. That type of intensity, that physicality, we have to initiate that from the beginning of the game."
The Raptors made a small deal on Thursday, acquiring guard Nando De Colo from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for seldom-used forward Austin Daye.
The Raptors are 6-4 in their last 10 against the Cavs. These two teams have split the last six meetings up north.
02/21 10:25:59 ET