National Basketball Association wrap: Cavaliers beat Raptors for ninth win in 10 games

National Basketball Association wrap: Cavaliers beat Raptors for ninth win in 10 games

Boston shot just 27.8 percent from the field in the second quarter on 5-for-18 shooting, with nearly twice as many turnovers (9) in the second quarter as made baskets.

Boston's starters combined for 35 points, 16 of them from Horford.

It is a limited time machine.

Jayson Tatum, the highly rated rookie came out empty although firing from all cylinders finishing the game with just eight points. Maybe if Elon Musk wasn't so focused on sending a rocket to Mars and instead was shooting one to, like, Tucson, he wouldn't be making bankruptcy jokes.

The problem, however, is with the idea that you have to play both the Cavaliers, and one of the Celtics and Raptors, while the other will only have to prepare for one of the two.

Again, no one is denying the Raptors have had an excellent season.

"We don't hide from our goal", Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said.

Playoff positioning is on the line Thursday (AEDT) when the Celtics, the East's No. 2 seed, visit Canada to take on the No. 1 Raptors.

For the majority of the season, the sentiment among Toronto Raptors fans has been that their team deserves more respect.

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"How long do you want to talk?" Point guard Jose Calderon, signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, has been playing a lot more minutes in recent weeks and scored 19 against the Raptors.

The Boston Celtics were coming off a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on the road just a night ago and they had previously beaten the Raptors at home last Saturday. That the doubts have landed at their feet a little earlier than expected isn't a huge development; they were always going to have to prove people wrong.

Austin hosts South Bay on Thursday in the Western Conference finals, while Raptors 905 visits Erie on Friday to determine the East victor.

Both reservations are understandable. They still have two homes game left in the regular season.

If the Raptors want any chance of representing the East in the Finals, they're going to have to build a head of steam capable of bulldozing through the likes of the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.

That's a charitable outlook. The Raptors play the Celtics on Wednesday in Toronto. That they're finally getting healthy probably has something to do with it, but make no mistake, James' fingerprints are all over their run. Then another first-round struggle previous year against Milwaukee and a thumping from Cleveland, which takes a small asterisk because Kyle Lowry went down with an injury. His team lost. But that doesn't diminish the way Morris delivered yet another impressive scoring performance, leading all players with 21 points on an efficient 7-for-14 shooting night.

The LeBron conundrum will be even harder to solve.

"Sometimes you get more shots than others", the 13th-year pro said. That's not an exaggeration for comic effect. The last game between these teams was an eye opener for the Cavs (in a good way).

Dennis Smith scored 18 points and the Mavericks prevented the Trail Blazers from clinching home-court advantage in the Western Conference quarterfinals by topping Portland, 115-109.

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