LeBron James, Cavs Come Back to Beat DeMar DeRozan, Raptors 132-129

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2018

Toronto Raptors' Jakob Poeltl, left, and Pascal Siakam defend against Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Quicken Loans Arena has been a house of horrors for the Toronto Raptors over the past few years, and that didn't change Wednesday night. 

In a possible postseason preview, the Raptors (53-19) squandered a 15-point halftime lead and fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 132-129, as they failed to put their Northeast Ohio nightmares to bed.  

LeBron James presided over Cleveland's comeback and proved masterful with 35 points on 11-of-19 shooting, 17 assists, seven rebounds and zero turnovers. 

James and Co. allowed the Raptors to tie a franchise record with 79 points in the first half, but they flipped the switch in short order following the break. 

The Cavaliers (42-29) outscored Toronto 34-20 in the third period to trim the deficit to one entering the final frame, and James' brilliance carried the day while the Raptors stalled out on offense.

After shooting 12-of-18 on three-point attempts in the first half, the Raptors went 3-of-16 from range over the final 24 minutes. 

Kyle Lowry finished with a team-high 24 points and DeMar DeRozan added 21, but neither of them looked particularly energized down the stretch with Toronto playing its third game in four nights. 

James, meanwhile, couldn't be stopped. 

All but one of his 11 made field goals came at the rim, and he picked Toronto's defense apart en route to his sixth game with at least 15 assists this season, as ESPN Stats & Info documented: 

"I've never seen anything like it," Cavaliers interim head coach Larry Drew said of LeBron's performance, according to the Associated Press' Tom Withers

LeBron wouldn't have reached his gaudy dime total without some stellar shooting from his supporting cast. 

The Cavaliers shot 60.3 percent from the field on the night, including 15-of-24 from three, and all five starters finished in double figures.

Kevin Love poured in 23 points and 12 rebounds, Jose Calderon chipped in 14 points, Jeff Green added 15 and George Hill played his finest game as a member of the Wine and Gold with 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting. 

Thanks to those efforts, the Cavaliers were able to withstand the Raptors' 58-23 scoring edge off the bench and send Toronto tumbling to 2-9 at The Q (including the playoffs) dating back to 2014. 

Both clubs will be back in action at home Friday. 

Cleveland is scheduled for a tilt with the Phoenix Suns, while the Raptors have a date at Air Canada Centre with the Brooklyn Nets.  

Related

    Report: Smart Back with C's for $52M

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Smart Back with C's for $52M

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Lakers Exec Excited to Unleash ‘Death Lineup’

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Lakers Exec Excited to Unleash ‘Death Lineup’

    Eric Pincus
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Kawhi Warming Up to Raptors

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Kawhi Warming Up to Raptors

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Spurs Won't Be Contending Again Any Time Soon

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Spurs Won't Be Contending Again Any Time Soon

    Tom Haberstroh
    via Bleacher Report