1 stud and 1 dud in Cavs’ dominating win over Raptors

Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Lauri Markkanen (left), Dean Wade (center) and Kevin Love celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Lauri Markkanen (left), Dean Wade (center) and Kevin Love celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers hosted the Toronto Raptors at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday in a battle between two very solid teams. However, it would be difficult to tell due to the final score. The Cavs absolutely dominated winning 144-99 over the Raptors, which was the second-highest margin of victory in the team’s history, per Cavs Notes.

After the two teams played relatively even basketball after one quarter with a score of 35-34, the Cavaliers took care of business in both the second quarter (37-21) and third quarter (46-23) to completely take over this affair.

Keep in mind that both teams had a plethora of players out due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The Raptors had 10 players out in Khem Birch, Justin Champagnie, Isaac Bonga, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa. The Cavs had seven players out in Evan Mobley, Ed Davis, Jarrett Allen, Lamar Stevens, Dylan Windler, Cedi Osman and though he was questionable after clearing protocols, Isaac Okoro did not dress.

With that background involving this matchup, here are the stud and dud for the game.

Stud: Kevin Love

Kevin Love is going to be our stud of the night for the Cavaliers. After coming off the bench for the entire season, Love got the opportunity to start in this game against the Raptors, and continued to light it up from three, which he’s been doing for weeks.

The power forward, who appeared at a de facto center here, produced in 18 minutes, shooting 7-of-12 (6-of-9 from three-point-land) with nine rebounds and two assists. Those numbers go to show that Love was prepared for this opportunity of starting and handled the role very well. Look for Love to get more starting gigs in the future, albeit in perhaps a handful of other games with guys still working their way back from COVID protocols.

Dud: The Toronto Raptors

Frankly, it was hard to pick a dud on the Cavs in the game with the way the team dominated as a whole. That is why the entire Toronto Raptors team is going to be selected as the dud for this game.

To be outscored by 45 points in an NBA game, despite having so many players out, is an embarrassment and everyone from their players to coaching staff should be ashamed at how they came to Cleveland and got absolutely throttled. Congratulations to the Cavaliers on being so good that there was no dud selected!

After the Cavs passed the December test, what's next for them?. dark. Next

The Cavs are now 20-13 on the season after this victory. The team will travel to New Orleans for a Tuesday matchup at the Pelicans, to Washington for a Thursday matchup versus the Wizards and back home against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.