1 stud and 1 dud for Cavs in win over Raptors on Sunday

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Heading into Sunday night’s contest against the Toronto Raptors at home, the Cleveland Cavaliers had lost four of their five games post-All-Star break and six of seven games dating back to before then. The Cavaliers have hit a road bump of late, and they need to turn things around with them in a pivotal portion of their season, as teams will be jockeying for postseason position the rest of the way.

Injuries to the backcourt have not helped the Wine and Gold’s cause, though. Darius Garland had been in there the past two games for Cleveland, but he missed the first three post-All-Star games because of lower back soreness, which is an ailment he and the team will have to manage from here; hopefully he can be active in most games.

From there, Caris LeVert has missed all of Cleveland’s six post-All-Star break contests due to a foot sprain, and Rajon Rondo, with playmaking depth in mind, has missed Cleveland’s past five outings with a big toe sprain. Both could seemingly be back for the Cavs soon, on the plus side, but we’ll have to see how long things will be until both can get in-rhythm.

As far as how the Cavaliers looked in this last game against Toronto, while there were still some rough moments, the Wine and Gold did play much better defense than they have of late, and they had a few timely runs that led to a much-needed victory.

The Raptors are a team that’s just getting started too, similarly to the Cavs, and Toronto also have its share of good young players. In this contest, Toronto was without Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby, which clearly handicapped them to some degree offensively, but they’re still a quality team, and Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam and their defensive pressure allowed them to hang around for most of the contest.

Fortunately for the Cavaliers, they hit some key shots when they needed them, and contributions from Darius Garland (17 points and 10 assists), and Cedi Osman and Kevin Love were significant throughout. Osman, who has been playing very well in recent weeks, had 17 points, three assists and two steals in his minutes off the bench, and Love had 15 points and nine rebounds.

One Cav, in particular, was huge in this one, anyhow, and we’ll get into that more here. And with Jarrett Allen unfortunately being out early because of a quad contusion, that was much-needed. To make matters worse, Allen reportedly also fractured his finger and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Regarding Sunday’s game, we’ll highlight the standout performer from that one for the Cavs, but also do the same for Cleveland’s dud.

We’ll start with the Cavaliers stud against the Raps.