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Raptors rout Cavs

Field Level Media

TORONTO — Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting as the Toronto Raptors steamrolled the Cleveland Cavaliers, 133-99, on Thursday night.

C.J. Miles made four 3-pointers while scoring 16 points and Jonas Valanciunas contributed 15 points and a season-high 18 rebounds for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam also scored 16 points, Norman Powell tallied 14 and DeMar DeRozan added 13 points and eight assists as Toronto won for the sixth time in the past seven games.

LeBron James had 26 points for the Cavaliers, who were routed for the second straight contest while losing for the sixth time in the past eight games. Cleveland trailed by as many as 41 points on Monday in a 127-99 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The margins of defeat — 28 and 34 — represent the Cavaliers’ two worst of the season.

Cleveland’s Isaiah Thomas tallied just four points on 2-of-15 shooting. He missed all six of his 3-point attempts after having made at least one in his last 60 regular-season games in what was the second-longest active streak in the NBA behind Golden State’s Klay Thompson (95).

The Raptors posted a dominating 63-35 rebounding edge and limited the Cavaliers to 38.2 percent from the field. Jakob Poeltl had 12 rebounds and also scored 12 points for the home team.

Toronto played without point guard Kyle Lowry (back) for the second straight game. Forward Serge Ibaka also missed the contest after drawing a one-game suspension for exchanging punches with Miami Heat forward James Johnson on Tuesday.

VanVleet received extended playing time with Lowry sidelined, making a career-best six 3-pointers (in 8 attempts) and not committing a turnover in 24 minutes.

The Raptors led 30-24 after the first quarter and began pulling away in the second. VanVleet scored five straight points during a 14-2 burst that gave Toronto a 55-34 edge and OG Anunoby drained a jumper to push the margin to 25 with 2:35 left en route to a 65-40 halftime advantage.

Anunoby and VanVleet drained back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 93-63 with 1:24 left in the third quarter. DeRozan nailed two 3-pointers in the final minute as the Raptors took a 100-72 lead into the final stanza.

Lorenzo Brown’s ferocious dunk gave Toronto a 113-78 lead with 7:59 to go, and the Raptors finished off their highest scoring game of the season.

Lakers top Spurs

LOS ANGELES — Brandon Ingram scored 26 points, and Lonzo Ball contributed 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Los Angeles Lakers knocked off the San Antonio Spurs, 93-81, on Thursday.

Larry Nance Jr. added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who won their season-best third consecutive game. Los Angeles forced 20 turnovers and halted a 7-game home losing streak versus San Antonio.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points for the Spurs, who were without standout small forward Kawhi Leonard (shoulder) for the third straight game. Bryn Forbes added 18 points for San Antonio.

Ingram made 11-of-21 shots while scoring 20 or more points for the third time in the past four games.

“My teammates give me confidence to be in the right spot and make plays,” Ingram said in a post-game interview on TNT. “It feels pretty good.”

The Lakers racked up 15 steals, including five by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and four by Ball.

Nance delivered a dunk to give the Lakers a 72-62 lead early in the fourth quarter before San Antonio controlled the next 4-plus minutes and pulled within 77-75 on a 21-footer by Forbes with 6:23 remaining.

Los Angeles answered by putting the game away. Caldwell-Pope and Nance slammed home back-to-back dunks and Ingram scored consecutive baskets as part of a 13-0 surge to push the Los Angeles advantage to 90-75 with 3:11 to play.

San Antonio recovered from an 11-point halftime lead to take a 53-52 lead on a 3-pointer by Forbes with 6:42 left in the third quarter.

Los Angeles followed with a 16-4 burst with Caldwell-Pope scoring eight of the points, including a 3-pointer to cap the spurt to give the Lakers a 68-57 lead. The Spurs tallied the final five points of the stanza to move within six.

Ingram scored 18 first-half points and Ball added 11 as the Lakers took a 49-38 advantage into halftime.

Los Angeles used a 25-3 spurt to turn a 3-point deficit with 3:01 left in the first quarter into a 37-18 lead with 7:16 left in the half. A dunk by Nance ended a run of 17 straight Lakers points to make it 29-15 early in the second quarter, and Ball knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a 19-point margin.

San Antonio answered with a 13-3 push to cut its deficit to nine and later got within 42-36 after a 3-pointer by Pau Gasol with 2:01 left before the break.

Clippers crown Kings

Blake Griffin returned from a 2-game absence caused by a concussion and hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:55 to play Thursday night, sending the Los Angeles Clippers to a 121-115 victory over the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento.

The win capped a sweep of Northern California dates for the Clippers, who stunned the Golden State Warriors, 125-106, in Oakland on Wednesday.

The club’s ninth victory in the past 12 games might have been a costly one for the injury-ravaged Clippers, who lost star center DeAndre Jordan to a sprained left ankle in the second quarter.

Jordan had eight points and seven rebounds in just 11 minutes before landing awkwardly on his left foot after slamming through a Lou Williams alley-oop lob with 5:15 remaining in the first half.

He was immediately removed from the game and went to the locker room. Jordan never returned to the game.

After the Clippers led for the first 43 minutes, the Kings rallied into a 109-108 advantage on a jumper by Zach Randolph with 4:14 to go, capping a 17-2 flurry.

The teams then exchanged leads four times before Griffin buried his decisive hoop for a 115-113 advantage with just 1:55 to go.

Williams doubled the margin with a jumper, and Tyrone Wallace, promoted from the G League last week, clinched the Clippers’ third consecutive win with a steal and dunk with 10 seconds left.

Williams, who exploded for 50 points in the win over the Warriors, followed up with a game-high 30 against the Kings.

Griffin added an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Clippers, who beat the Kings for the third straight time this season.

The Clippers also got back point guard Milos Teodosic, who had sat out three straight games due to a flare-up of plantar fasciitis. He contributed 10 points and nine assists in the win.

Six Kings scored in double-figures led by reserve Bogdan Bogdanovic with 22 points.

George Hill (21), Randolph (16), Kosta Koufos (14), Buddy Hield (14) and Willie Cauley-Stein (12) also scored in double figures for the Kings, who have lost eight of their past 10 games. Koufos added a game-high 14 rebounds.

Williams hit the first two of his five 3-pointers and Jordan converted an alley-oop into a dunk as the Clippers scored the game’s first eight points to build a lead they didn’t relinquish until the 44th minute.

 

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