Raptors beat Cavs for 8th straight win despite missing Kyle Lowry
Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points, Fred VanVleet added 15 and the Toronto Raptors won their eighth straight game despite missing All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, 106-95 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Lowry missed his first game this season with an unspecified back injury. Raptors coach Nick Nurse didn't provide any details about Lowry's back other than to say it flared up earlier in the day.
VanVleet started in place of Lowry, the league's assist leader. With the Cavs still within striking distance, VanVleet dropped a back-breaking 3-pointer with 2:08 left to put Toronto up 10.
Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points and Tristan Thompson had 18 points with 19 rebounds for the Cavs, who hung around but lost their fourth in a row and dropped to 4-18.
Cleveland, which sustained its worst loss of the season on Friday in Boston, did get healthier as starting guard George Hill returned after missing 11 games with a sprained right shoulder. Hill scored eight in 19 minutes.
Toronto was making its first visit to Quicken Loans Arena since May, when the Raptors were swept in four games by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Of course that Raptors team didn't have Leonard, who came over in a July trade from San Antonio and has given Toronto fans hope that this might finally be the year.