CLEVELAND (AP) Miami's winning streak was in danger of disappearing - in Cleveland, of all places. But LeBron James wouldn't give up. "That guy right there doesn't want to lose in this building,'' teammate Dwayne Wade said, nodding toward James, who left many angry Cavaliers fans behind when he bolted for Miami as a free agent three years ago.
"Not tonight.'' James scored 25 points as the Heat overcame a 27-point deficit in the third quarter and won their 24th straight game, 98-95 over the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night to extend the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.
The Heat are within nine games of matching the record of 33 consecutive wins held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Once believed to be untouchable, the mark is now within reach.
James and his teammates have insisted the record isn't one of their goals, and for more than 30 minutes the defending champions seemed disinterested and on the verge of losing for the first time since Feb. 1.
Miami trailed 67-40 with 7:44 left in the third quarter. But behind the irrepressible James, who added 12 rebounds and 10 assists in 42 minutes, the Heat inched closer to history and matched the NBA's biggest comeback this season, according to STATS.
"This was one of the most bizarre, unique days of my life with everything that happened,'' said James, referring to a homecoming in which a fan ran onto the floor and the opening tip was delayed 35 minutes by a leaky scoreboard.
"It also was one of the best comebacks I've ever been a part of.'' James had 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in the fourth as Miami rallied to win for the second game in a row. The Heat were down 17 points - 13 in the fourth quarter - and stormed back to beat Boston 105-103 on Monday and surpass the 2007-08 Houston Rockets for the second-longest streak in NBA history. "I knew there was a lot of time, so we never panicked,'' James said. "We were down 27 with 18 minutes left.
That's a lifetime in basketball.''
Although the Cavs were missing All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao - their top three scorers - they pushed Miami to the limit. It wasn't until James, playing his fourth game back in Cleveland since leaving, made two free throws with 4.7 seconds left that Miami could relax, but just a little. The Cavs had one last chance to tie it, but C.J. Miles was long with a 3-pointer in the final second, letting Miami off the hook.
Following the game, James stopped to sign a few autographs as he made his way to Miami's locker room. This was much tougher than he and the Heat could have imagined. The win also completed a five-game road trip, dubbed "The Reunion Tour'' by James because Miami visited Wade's home in Milwaukee, Chris Bosh's former team in Toronto and Ray Allen's in Boston. "The streak wasn't on my mind, but us getting blown out was,'' James said. "I was going to be the only guy to take an "L' on the reunion tour.''
Mario Chalmers added 17 points and Wade had 11 for the Heat, who outscored the Cavs 30-18 in the fourth quarter and 64-40 in the second half. Wayne Ellington had 20 points and Tristan Thompson 18 for Cleveland, which went from a stunning upset to blowing the biggest lead in a loss in franchise history. "We knew it was coming,'' Thompson said of the Heat's comeback.
"They were the NBA champions last season. They're not going to lay down. Champions don't lay down even when they're down by 27. We knew they were going to make a push. Guys went out and made plays, so you have to give them credit.''
Down by nine to open the fourth, the Heat were up 95-86 with 3:02 left and seemed to have the Cavaliers on the ropes. But Cleveland bounced back and closed to 96-95 on Thompson's two free throws with 44 seconds to go.
Wade then missed a jumper, but Ellington misfired on a step-back 23-footer with 5.2 seconds to go. James was fouled and the reigning MVP, with a sellout crowd of 20,562 roaring, stepped to the line and dropped both free throws to make it 98-95.
Miles was contested on his final shot, and once it clanked off the rim, the Heat headed home with a chance to extend their streak to 25 on Friday against Detroit. This game had a little of everything, including a fan running on the floor in the fourth quarter.
The young man was wearing a T-shirt that said: "We Miss You, 2014 Come Back,'' a reference to James' possible free agency and return to Cleveland, where he played seven seasons.
James went out of his way and patted the fan on the head as security rushed him off the floor. "He said he missed me and come back, please,'' James said. "It happened once before in (Madison Square) Garden, so I wasn't worried. There are metal detectors here, so we were OK. I embraced it.''
The start of the game was delayed because of a spill on the floor caused by condensation from a carbon dioxide container inside the scoreboard. James scored eight straight points to open the fourth, hitting a 3-pointer to tie it 77-all.
He then turned toward the crowd and delivered an icy stare, his way of saying, "OK, enough is enough.' "When he made that one and turned to the crowd,'' Wade said, "you knew it was coming.''
NOTES: Starting with the Cavs, Miami's next 10 games are against opponents with a combined winning percentage of just .399. ... The Heat play the Pistons and Charlotte at home before going to Orlando, Chicago, New Orleans and San Antonio. ... It was the first time Miami overcame a 21-point halftime deficit to win. ... The Cavs will wait a week before they evaluate Waiters, who has loose cartilage, and decide whether he needs surgery. Cleveland coach Byron Scott hopes his young guard comes back in the final month. "If he gets back, I'll be thrilled to death,'' Scott said.
AP) -- LeBron James and the Miami Heatare about to play another game in Cleveland.
That's what a 23-game winning streak will do for a team.
It mutes even the LeBron-Goes-Home-Again hype.
Someday the Heat will lose another basketball game. Maybe even Wednesday night, when the reigning NBA champions drop by James' old neighborhood to take on James' old team, which happens to be decimated by injuries right now.
Still, could happen. Almost did in Boston on Monday night, save for James' game-winning jumper in the final seconds after Miami rallied from 17- and 13-point deficits to squeak past the Celtics 105-103.
But given how they wrapped up their latest "W" and what lies ahead, it may no longer be farfetched to think that the record of 33 straight victories set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers is within the Heat's grasp.
"It means a lot," James said after the Boston game. "I know the history of the game. To be sitting in second place right now ... for us to be there and doing it in the way we want to do it, it means a lot."
It also means a lot that Miami (52-14) won't be visiting many playoff-bound teams any time soon. Five of their next six games are against teams with the worst records this season, starting with Cleveland (22-45).
While it will surely be emotional -- after all, James is coming home, again -- Miami would have to simply lay an egg to lose on Wednesday. The Cavs are incredibly banged up and out of the playoff race. Kyrie Irving is out, Anderson Varejao's season is over and on Tuesday, Cleveland revealed that guard Dion Waiters may need surgery to repair a problem in his left knee.
Yes, the Cavaliers nearly knocked off the Heat in Miami on Feb. 24, but Waiters and Irving combined for 43 points in that upset bid. They'll combine for zero on Wednesday for Cleveland, which has lost three straight and seven of nine.
Miami won last month's matchup 109-105 and also came away with a 110-108 victory in the first meeting of the season Nov. 24. The Heat are 8-1 against the Cavaliers since James bolted for South Beach following the 2009-10 season, with the reigning league MVP averaging 26.4 points, 6.9 assists, 6.2 rebounds and shooting 51.2 percent -- similar numbers to what he's put up this season.
"I think you can give the (MVP) trophy to him right now," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "He's the best player in the league right now, and he's playing like it."
Despite his team's injury situation, Scott says Cleveland is confident heading into this matchup, especially since its two losses in the series this season have come by a total of six points.
"Anything can happen," Scott said. "Just like boxers. James Buster Douglas against Mike Tyson. Nobody in the world thought it would happen. ... We have to play probably our best game of the season because they're playing at a different level than everybody else.
"I'm sure from their standpoint, they're on a high. When you're playing that well, you have to have some luck in there during that streak. But you almost get to the point you feel you're invincible, that you can't lose."
This is the end of a five-game trip for the Heat, who return home to face Detroit (23-46) on Friday and NBA-worst Charlotte (15-52) on Sunday before starting another four-game stretch away from home.
WTAM 1100 7P
Copyright Associated Press 2013. All rights reserved
CLEVELAND (AP) - Cavaliers rookie guard Dion Waiters will miss at least one week with a sore left knee and may need surgery. The Cavs said an MRI taken Tuesday revealed a loose fragment in Waiters' left knee
. He injured his knee in the first half of Monday's home loss to Indiana and did not return. He will rest and have treatment over the next week, and the Cavs said it's possible the No. 4 overall pick in last year's draft may need an arthroscopic procedure.
The loss of Waiters is another blow to the Cavs, who are already missing All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and forward Anderson Varejao with injuries. On Wednesday, the Cavs host the Miami Heat, who will attempt to extend their winning streak to 24.
CLEVELAND (AP) Gerald Green scored 20 points and Tyler Hansbrough, starting in place of the injured David West, had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 111-90 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
West missed the game with a sprained lower back sustained Saturday against Philadelphia, but the Pacers dominated without their second-leading scorer. Green scored 13 points in the second quarter and Hansbrough, making just his second start of the season, led a balanced attack.
Paul George scored 14 points while Roy Hibbert added 12 as the Pacers avoided losing three in a row for the third time this season. C.J. Miles led Cleveland with 21 points, but injuries continued to plague the Cavaliers.
Guard Dion Waiters didn't play after the first quarter because of a sore left knee and Cleveland played its fourth straight game without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who is out with a sprained left shoulder.
The bad blood that's developed between the teams this season surfaced again late in the third quarter when Cavaliers center Marreese Speights was ejected for a flagrant foul 2 on George, the Pacers' All-Star forward.
George was driving for a fast-break layup when Speights grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the floor. The officials called Speights for a flagrant foul and ejected him after looking at the replay.
The teams had an altercation in their first meeting when Tristan Thompson and Hansbrough had to be separated after Thompson caught Hansbrough's younger brother, Ben, with an errant elbow. Tyler Hansbrough and Daniel Gibson exchanged words when the teams met in December.
Green scored 13 points in the second quarter, including three 3-pointers in a stretch of 1:29, to spark a 20-7 run to end the period. Indiana led 40-38 midway through the quarter, but Green had 11 points and Tyler Hansbrough added a three-point play and a layup. West missed just his second game this season, but Indiana continued to pull away in the second half.
The Pacers built a 28-point lead in the fourth quarter. Jeff Pendergraph added 11 points for Indiana, which had lost four of six. Indiana also maintained its hold on second place in the Eastern Conference standings. Thompson had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland, which has lost three in a row and was down to 10 players by the end of the game.
NOTES: West, averaging 17.3 points, could play Tuesday at home against Orlando. "His back is pretty sore, so we'll see,'' said coach Frank Vogel. ... Indiana F Danny Granger, who has played in only five games this season because of a sore left knee, has been cleared to resume practicing. He could return to action next week. ... Irving, who is expected to miss about three more weeks, is no longer wearing a sling on his left arm. ... Cleveland F Luke Walton wore a temporary protective mask when he took the floor after sustaining a broken nose Saturday. He was run over attempting to take a charge from San Antonio's Tim Duncan. Walton removed the mask after a few minutes and will be fitted with a permanent one in the next few days. He became the fourth Cleveland player this season to wear a mask after suffering a facial injury. Thompson, Kyrie Irving and Tyler Zeller are the others.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) The San Antonio Spurs are without Tony Parker and their usual fire on defense, but they still have Tim Duncan. They needed the All-Star power forward to overcome their alarming lack of defense.
Duncan had 30 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, and the Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-113 on Saturday night. Kawhi Leonard added 24 points and 13 boards, and Manu Ginobili added 14 points and 10 assists for San Antonio (51-16), which is 1 1/2 games ahead of Oklahoma City for the top seed in the Western Conference. "Tim saved our (butt),'' said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was ejected midway through the second quarter. "He obviously carried the whole night for us. He was great. It shouldn't have to be that way.''
Nando De Colo had 11 points and Tiago Splitter 10 for the Spurs. Playing without its top two players in point guard Kyrie Irving and center Anderson Varejao, Cleveland (22-44) led 103-102 with 5 minutes left in the game. Opponents were averaging 96.2 points against the Spurs entering Saturday's game, but the Cavaliers had 90 after three quarters. For a franchise and a coach that has won four NBA titles on the shoulders of its defense, the lack of focus is troubling to say the least. "We've got to step up and play better,'' Ginobili said.
"The playoffs are around the corner; 15 games to go and we are doing worse than at the beginning of the season. We've got to go by this slump and get our things together.'' Wayne Ellington had 21 points and fellow reserve Marreese Speights added 19 for Cleveland.
Shaun Livingston had 16 points, and Alonzo Gee and Dion Waiters added 15 apiece. Neither offense was slowed by the loss of its starting All-Star point guards.
Parker is expected to miss another two weeks with a Grade 2 left ankle sprain and Cleveland will be without Irving (shoulder) for another three weeks. It was defense that both teams were lacking.
"We've been emphasizing for two and half weeks and it hasn't done any good,'' Popovich said. "I need to learn another language or I don't know what. But, very disappointed in our defensive execution in the last two to three weeks after we raised our stock from being a middle of the road defensive team last year to one of the top two or three this year. "Then in the last three weeks, we decide to toss it; that it's not important. I'm really concerned and disappointed in that.''
Frustration with that defense may have led to Popovich's ejection. He was ejected with 6:33 left in the first half after arguing a charge Ed Malloy called on Boris Diaw against Luke Walton. After the initial technical, Popovich was quickly assessed a second and ejected after storming onto the court, yelling and pointing at Malloy. San Antonio outscored Cleveland 19-12 down the stretch, but the Cavs shot 51 percent from the field. Duncan blocked Tristan Thompson's layup attempt with the Spurs leading 113-109 and 54.9 seconds remaining.
Duncan also blocked Waiters' shot with 17.9 seconds left and San Antonio leading 116-111. It was two of the few defensive highlights for the Spurs. "It's not been great and I don't know why,'' Duncan said. "I think the effort is there. We're playing hard. We're giving up too many straight drives right to the rim. We've got find a way to kind of counter that; find a way to clean that up.''
Duncan had 13 points in the first quarter, going 6 for 9 and collecting six rebounds. He tossed in a 2-foot jumper that gave the Spurs a 30-21 lead with 3 minutes left in the first quarter. Leonard picked up an assist on the basket, hustling in from out of bounds to tip his own missed shot to Duncan. "We're moving the ball and it's gone to the post a little more,'' Duncan said. "That's where I'm a little more effective. I still haven't gotten my shot back the way I want it. I'm just trying to be aggressive.''
Waiters' 3 with 7 minutes left in the first half capped a 13-5 run that gave the Cavaliers a 48-44 lead. After CJ Miles made both free throws on Popovich's technicals, the Spurs closed the first half on a 22-11 run to take a 66-61 lead. Ginobili had eight points in the run and Duncan added seven.
Cleveland shot 61 percent from the field in the first half. "I think they're the best team in the league,'' Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "I don't know if they're going to win it. They have the best talent and the best coach, so they have a great shot of winning another championship. I think for us, we played this game really well.'' The Spurs never trailed in the third quarter, but Livingston's layup with 1:20 left tied the game at 90 to set up the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Varejao, who missed his 41st game, will not return after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung. . Splitter is the only player to appear in every game for San Antonio this season, having started 45 of 67 games. . The Spurs continue to use their D-League affiliate to develop their young reserves, sending De Colo and Aron Baynes to the Austin Toros on Friday. De Colo was recalled prior to Saturday's game, playing 24 minutes while going 4 for 6 from the field. . San Antonio is 34-6 overall at home against Cleveland. . Ellington (ankle) played 22 minutes after being listed as a game-time decision.
The Dallas Mavericks are coming off a solid trip, but with the position they're in, it needed to be better.
Dallas will try to rebound from its first loss in five games on Friday night when it opens a potentially crucial stretch at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Going for a season-best fifth consecutive victory -- and an undefeated four-game stretch outside Dallas -- the Mavericks (30-34) lost 92-91 to Western Conference-leading San Antonio on Thursday. Dallas scored the game's final seven points, but Vince Carter's 3-pointer in the final second missed.
The Mavericks, targeting a 13th consecutive playoff appearance, trail the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers by three games in the Western Conference.
"It has been the motto for our year," Dirk Nowitzki said after scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double. "We are right there, we just cannot get over the hump."
Maybe a stretch of eight of nine at home will help Dallas, which will face a Cavaliers team trying to move on without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. The reigning rookie of the year could be done for the season after suffering a sprained left shoulder in Sunday's 100-96 loss at Toronto.
"I think it gives us a golden opportunity to continue to develop our team concept," coach Byron Scott, whose team defeated Washington 95-90 on Wednesday without Irving, said following Thursday's practice.
With Irving sidelined, rookie guard Dion Waiters should get plenty of opportunities to develop over the final six weeks of the season and prove to Scott that he can carry the Cavaliers (22-42), and close out a game. The No. 4 overall pick scored 12 of his team-best 20 points in the final 7:29 on Wednesday.
"Coach told me to keep attacking," said Waiters, the league's second-highest scoring rookie with 14.8 points per game. "Either to get to the basket or find an open teammate. That's what I was trying to do."
The Cavaliers will try to slow down Nowitzki for the first time this season after the big German missed the Mavs' 103-95 victory in Cleveland on Nov. 17 following offseason knee surgery.
"Tristan (Thompson) starting off on him is going to have his hands full," Scott said.
Thompson, though, could also cause headaches for the Dallas frontcourt. The second-year forward is averaging 12.5 points and 11.5 rebounds while posting a career high-tying four consecutive double-doubles.
Thompson had 10 points and 12 boards in the previous matchup with Dallas.
Mavs forward Shawn Marion scored 10 points with 10 rebounds in that game, but he could miss a fifth straight game with a bruised calf. He's scheduled to be examined on Friday.
"We don't have anybody that can replace what Shawn does," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "There just aren't any 6-8 guys that can guard point guards or centers and can do the playmaking or running and all the different things that he can do. … He's been our leading rebounder all year, so it's a loss and it's a hit we've got to take here."
Dallas, though, has won four of five in this series and nine of 11 with the Cavs in town.
830 tip WTAM 110
Copyright 2013 Associate Press. All Rights Reserved
CLEVELAND (AP) Dion Waiters scored 20 points, Alonzo Gee added 17 and the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a late run to beat the Washington Wizards 95-90 on Tuesday night. Cleveland played its first game since Kyrie Irving sprained his left shoulder Sunday against Toronto.
The All-Star point guard, who watched the game from the bench with his left arm in a sling, could miss the next month - and maybe the rest of this season.
The Cavaliers are 5-10 without him this season. Cleveland led 90-78 with 4:29 remaining, but the Wizards cut the margin to 91-88 with 45 seconds remaining. Waiters, who scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, hit four free throws in the final 13.1 seconds to secure the win.
John Wall led Washington with a season-high 27 points. The Wizards, who scored the game's first 11 points, have the league's worst road record at 5-25. Rookie guard Bradley Beal, the Wizards' leading scorer, missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle.
Cleveland placed six players in double figures. Tristan Thompson scored 13 points and had 14 rebounds. Shaun Livingston and Wayne Ellington added 12 points apiece, while C.J. Miles had 10. Wall also had season highs with 14 assists and seven rebounds. Emeka Okafor scored 18 points and had 11 rebounds, while Martell Webster added 17 points, including five 3-pointers.
Wall was the No. 1 pick in the draft in 2010 while Irving was chosen first the following season. The two won't meet this season, as Wall missed the first two games while he came back from a leg injury. Wall made all 10 of his free throw attempts in the first half. The Wizards were 16 for 16 from the foul line in the first two quarters. Wall missed a free throw on his 11th attempt midway through the third quarter.
The Cavaliers used a 16-7 run to end the third quarter and took a 76-65 lead into the final period. The spurt was sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from Gee, a jumper by Luke Walton as the shot clock expired and a reverse layup by Ellington. The Wizards scored the game's first 11 points, including three 3-pointers by Webster.
Cleveland coach Byron Scott called timeout just over two minutes into the game and benched all of his starters with the exception of Livingston. Washington led 33-20 after one quarter, but Thompson scored all 11 of his first-half points in the second period as the Cavaliers rallied to lead 50-49 at halftime. Livingston, who was claimed off waivers from the Wizards on Dec. 25, will start at the point in Irving's absence. Cleveland swept the three-game series from Washington.
NOTES: G Garrett Temple made his second consecutive start in Beal's spot. ... Wizards coach Randy Wittman isn't sure when Beal will return. "It could be a day. It could be a week. We'll just have to wait and see,'' he said. ... Cavaliers F Omri Casspi (appendectomy) was active for the first time since Feb. 20. He was stricken with appendicitis on Feb. 23, just before Cleveland's game in Orlando. Casspi has not played in a game since Feb. 6 against Charlotte and has not scored a point since Jan. 22 against Boston. ... G Daniel Gibson, who will see more playing time with Irving out, appeared for the first time since March 4.
(Independence) - Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving experienced a left shoulder injury during the third quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Raptors in Toronto.
X-rays taken at the Air Canada Centre were negative. He was reevaluated Monday at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health where he received an MRI and physical exam by Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker. It revealed a Left AC (acromioclavicular) sprain.
Irving will undergo a period of rest and treatment and is currently projected to be OUT three to four weeks.
Note: Injury comes at 41 seconds in.
Get breaking news sent to your mobile phone. Text "news" to 21095.
(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved.)
TORONTO (AP) Cleveland coach Byron Scott had some venting to do after his team's latest second-half collapse. Star guard Kyrie Irving's shoulder injury didn't improve his mood.
Amir Johnson scored 17 points and matched his career high with 16 rebounds, Alan Anderson scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and the Toronto Raptors overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the slumping Cavaliers 100-96 on Sunday night.
Irving was knocked out with a left shoulder injury late in the third quarter as Cleveland lost for the fourth time in five games. X-rays were negative and he will have further tests Monday. Irving was hurt when he collided with Toronto rookie Jonas Valanciunas on a baseline drive with 2:04 left in the third, and he shot the resulting free throws one-handed. Irving made the first but missed the second before walking off and heading to the locker room. He finished with 12 points. "I was afraid to touch it,'' Irving said of his shoulder. "I was just unsure of what was going on.''
A frustrated Irving said the shoulder "still doesn't feel right'' when he spoke with reporters afterward, and he appeared to be favoring it as he got dressed. "I wouldn't call it a cheap shot or anything like that, but I've done that play a lot of times and I've never come out feeling like this,'' he said
. Irving missed 11 games between Nov. 21 and Dec. 8 with a broken finger. He also sat out three games between Feb. 26 and March 1 with a sore right knee. Cleveland's locker room was kept closed for more than 20 minutes after the game as Scott challenged his team over their recent string of poor third quarters.
The Cavaliers have been outscored in the third in four straight games, including double-digit margins in their past two. "Another one of those third-quarter blunders,'' Scott said. "I asked the guys to tell me what it was, what's the reason that we come out the way we do in the second half, and then I gave my opinion. "It's something that we've definitely got to fix. It's not as good feeling in there to know you played pretty well in the first half and then you come out the second half and play like that.'
' Cavs forward Tristan Thompson said the solution was "simple.'' "We've got to come out and play like men in the third quarter,'' he said. "The last five games teams have been kicking our butt, kicking our tail, outscoring us by double digits. It starts on the defensive end. We've got to be men and get stops and play together.''
Toronto has injury problems of its own, but won for just the second time in eight games. Forward Rudy Gay was held out with a stiff back, while center Andrea Bargnani was scratched because of a strained right elbow. Rookie Terrence Ross made his first start in place of Gay. Johnson started for Bargnani. "I applaud our guys the way they played in the second half,'' Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
Kyle Lowry had 15 points and nine rebounds, Ross scored 14 points and DeMar DeRozan had 13 points for Toronto, which had lost its previous two meetings with the Cavaliers. Cleveland rookie Dion Waiters scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth, Thompson had 11 points and 10 rebounds and C.J. Miles scored 15.
"Toronto deserved this win,'' Thompson said. "They outplayed us, they kicked our (butt) in the third quarter.'' A 3 by Anderson gave Toronto a 90-82 lead with 5:40 to go, but Cleveland scored the next six points, five of them from Waiters, to make it 90-88 with 4:15 remaining.
Waiters tied it at 94-all on a driving layup with 1:42 left, then made one of two from the foul line to put Cleveland up 95-94 at 1:20, giving the Cavs their first lead of the fourth quarter. Lowry restored Toronto's lead by making two free throws with 52 seconds to go. After a missed shot by Shaun Livingston, Lowry added a turnaround jumper, making it 98-95 with 14 seconds left.
Toronto sent Waiters to the line with 4.7 seconds left. He made the first but missed the second, and DeRozan was fouled as he grabbed the rebound. He sealed the win by making both free throws. Waiters scored seven points in the first and Zeller had six as Cleveland went ahead with a 9-0 run and led 27-20 after one. Miles made four 3-pointers and scored 13 points in the second, and Irving added nine as the Cavaliers opened a 50-33 lead with 3:46 left.
Toronto closed the half on an 11-4 run, cutting it to 55-46 at the break. Cleveland called time at 5:59 of the third after a layup by Johnson cut it to 63-60, and Valanciunas tied it on a pair of free throws at 2:48 left. Cleveland regained the lead, but Valanciunas tied it again, converting a three-point play at 1:24. Five more free throws, including one for a technical foul on Marreese Speights, gave the Raptors an 80-74 lead heading into the fourth.
NOTES: Bargnani was injured in the first quarter of Friday's overtime loss at the Los Angeles Lakers. He will have tests Monday. ... Toronto improved to 2-12 when shooting less than 40 percent from the floor. ... Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel attended the game.