The Raptors are coming off a 130-114 home win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in which Kyle Lowry had 11 assists to become the franchise leader with 3,772. Jose Calderon had been the leader with 3,770 assists.
«To pass a guy like Jose means a tremendous amount,» the 33-year-old Lowry, who also had 12 points and eight rebounds, told reporters after the game. «He was one of the best players in the history (of the team), one of the best passers this organization has ever had, and one of the greatest people ever. It means a lot for me to pass him, but to be here and to do it this long and do it for this franchise means the world.»
The Raptors have won both meetings with the Cavs this season, both in Toronto.
The Cavaliers lost 125-111 to the visiting New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday and have dropped eight of their past nine games. The win came Monday, 115-100 over the host Detroit Pistons.
Collin Sexton had a team-best 24 points on 9-of-20 shooting against the Pelicans. Rookie Kevin Porter Jr. added 21 off the bench, playing with an ankle sprain.
Larry Nance Jr. scored 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and added seven assists. He has had a double-double in four of his past five games.
«Since I got in the league people have told me to be more aggressive, shoot my shot,» Nance said. «And it’s just taking me a little bit to figure out what exactly what that means and where exactly my shots may come from. Now I’m starting to really figure out a groove and I’m playing very confident right now.»
The Pelicans led 74-65 at halftime.
«Our first-half defense was bad,» Nance said. «They were on pace to score like 150. You can’t win a basketball game like that. No matter how well you play offensively, no matter how well you play in the second half, putting up 75, however many points they had in the first half, that’s too big of a deficit to overcome.»
Cleveland rookie point guard Darius Garland was rested Tuesday on the second night of a back-to-back. He has been dealing with the flu recently. Dante Exum replaced him and had four points in 18 minutes.
The Raptors sustained two injuries Tuesday. Marc Gasol, who had 10 points, left in the third quarter with a tight hamstring and OG Anunoby, who had four points, injured his shoulder near the end of the game. They were being evaluated on Wednesday.
Patrick McCaw (fractured nose) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (sprained right ankle) did not play Tuesday.
Fred VanVleet had 19 points and Terence Davis II had 15 as six Raptors reached double figures in scoring on Tuesday. But the number the players were watching keenly was Lowry’s assist total.
«It’s a fantastic accomplishment for (Lowry),» VanVleet said. «For him to still be here, still be kicking, still be playing at a high level, is pretty special.»
–Field Level Media