RAPTORS 117, CAVS 97. WHAT BOTH TEAMS SAID: "Kyle Lowry is a Hall of Famer. … He keeps this ship running. He’s playing at a high level. Kyle is a bulldog. He competes every night. That’s why his teammates love him – because you can count on the guy every night." –TRISTAN THOMPSON.

(10-23) CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, 97 VS. (23-11) TORONTO RAPTORS, 117 SCOTIABANK ARENA TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2019

TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES

NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)

On the starting lineup change … You guys know that I like to mix it up a little bit, I haven’t been doing it all that much this year and I thought maybe get both of them going – both Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) and OG (Anunoby) … It seemed like it worked out okay, they both played really well tonight, I liked the energy from both of them.

On getting OG into the small forward position being a factor … Yeah, it did, I think that is an interesting part of it. Out of position is sometimes out of position, and getting him back there and getting him more comfortable. I just liked again, both of them were more focused, way more energetic, they were down and guarding, they were rebounding and when you are like that other good things, you know your shooting, your making strong moves and stuff seem to follow.

On using Rondae to start moving forward … I don’t know. Mixing up the starting lineup here for a little bit is probably something that you are going to see. I am just going to see what it looks like and feels like depending on who we are playing a little bit and go from there.

On Terence Davis being more energetic and not effected by the end of the last game … Yeah, which is good. He is a shooter and we need him to vault up and take them when he has got them and he found some rhythm tonight. I think we got a couple of set plays for him too and he made those, so that’s a good sign. It’s good that he came out and put that one in the past as history and moved on.

TERENCE DAVIS II (19 points, four rebounds)

On bouncing back after last game… I went home and watched the film and really (learned) from those mistakes. Down the stretch I looked at the clock and didn’t really tick in the time and score but that’s to take home with me down the road, just learning from those mistakes.

What does it feel like when you’re on an offensive role like that? Well I see it like this, when I see one go in I feel pretty good. I see another go in, I say okay, then another and it’s just the game of basketball, it’s how the game of basketball goes. Starts falling, you feel good, a good state of mind, actually.

FRED VANVLEET (12 points, seven assists)

On having chemistry with Terence Davis II tonight… I think offensively he’s a microwave, you know he heats up pretty quick. Know where to find him and usually if you get him in a good spot and he gets his feet down he’s got a quick release, so he can get them off, so tonight I thought he did a good of finding spots. Just playing confident and this is one of those games where a guy could find some rhythm, start off really hot then kind of hit the wall a little bit so to speak. I try to look for him to get his rhythm back and get his swagger back.

Do you say anything to OG Anunoby coming off the bench? Not really, guys got to figure it out as it goes. We are all pretty close and maybe too close to the point that we don’t really give each other pep talks. I know I didn’t, at least. You expect a guy to play no matter what position he’s in. He did a good job of coming in, ready to go and played pretty much identical to the way he’s been playing, he just made shots tonight, so that is kind of the cure all in most situations. He made some shots and that’s all that you look for.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS QUOTES

JOHN BEILEIN (HEAD COACH)

On tonight’s game… Not a very good game for us, credit Toronto for that. They have such a great system that they are playing with. They have tremendous guards who really run that thing so well and they are really sound defensively. We were not good in many areas of the game today, end of the road trip, whatever, we just weren’t very good. I’ve got to watch the video and see what we can do to get better.

What was the most difficult thing tonight in containing them from the three-point line? They had the guys come off the bench with (Terence) Davis hitting the three, and OG (Anunoby) hitting the three and then of course just when you think maybe make a little run, (Kyle) Lowry will make a tough three. Their guard play is really experienced and really good, and it shows. They really have a great rhythm to what they do, they are hard to stop and then at the end of the first half, that last 45 seconds was just, frankly, was embarrassing.

How do you get your backcourt duo to play like Lowry and VanVleet? They just have to get the same experience those two have. They got years and years and years. Lowry was at Villanova when I was coaching at West Virginia, so that’s a long time ago. He’s got a lot of knowledge that I’m sure our guys will have over time. And then VanVleet, four years at Wichita State, led his team to the Final Four and really has earned this thing all the way through and really has done a great job. So those two guys are terrific. In today’s game, two guards like that, despite their size, can dominate and they really dominated the game today. They didn’t dominate our guards, they just dominated the game by making the right play.

COLLIN SEXTON (22 points)

What did you see out of the Raptors tonight? They’re a tough team, a championship team, so you know they’re going to put up a really good fight – and also they lost to OKC the other night so they had a chip on their shoulder and wanted to pretty much beat us. You could tell from the very start of the game that they had a different type of energy. The fans had a good type of energy that helped them tonight.

Where do you want to see the team improve offensively? Offensively? Just keep taking the shots. Making the right plays and doing what we do. I feel like most things come on defence. Not sprinting back, stopping in the backcourt, little things that we can control like boxing out. I don’t know how many offensive rebounds they had tonight, but it was a lot. We have to make sure we help the bigs and rebound. As a group we have to get better. Just get better and hopefully get some wins together.

TRISTAN THOMPSON (14 points, 11 rebounds)

What are some takeaways from this game? That everyone finished the game healthy. At the end of the day going into the new year, it’s bigger than basketball. You just want guys to finish out the year strong, finish out 2019 strong and be healthy. We got through the game, you guys saw what happened, the Raptors are a really good team. You have to give them credit. They play hard. It was their night tonight. Thinking about getting back to Cleveland and guys can spend time with their family because that’s what it’s all about.

On improving defensively… I think communication. Just talking, just have to open our mouth and call out the calls. If we see something we have to holler. Call it out loud and continuous so our teammates know what’s going on. We have to be on the same page with it.

What comes to your mind when you think of 2019 on the court? 2019? Some new faces, young guys getting better and adding some good young pieces. Collin, DG, KPG. It’s good. I’m happy with our young guys. They want to learn. They want to be great and they’re going to keep pushing themselves day in and day out.

On Kyle Lowry… Kyle Lowry is a Hall of Famer. He’s a (five)-time All-Star, Olympic gold medalist, an NBA champ. He’s their backbone. He’s been here since when they drew that charge against him in Brooklyn with Paul Pierce. He’s been through all that. When we were playing them in the Eastern Conference Finals and sweeping them. Then with Kawhi in the Finals, so he’s been through, just like myself, highs and lows, for him he keeps this ship running. He’s playing at a high level. Kyle is a bulldog. He competes every night. That’s why his teammates love him – because you can count on the guy every night.

One thought on “RAPTORS 117, CAVS 97. WHAT BOTH TEAMS SAID: "Kyle Lowry is a Hall of Famer. … He keeps this ship running. He’s playing at a high level. Kyle is a bulldog. He competes every night. That’s why his teammates love him – because you can count on the guy every night." –TRISTAN THOMPSON.”

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