Learning to Win on The Road
If the Cleveland Cavaliers hope to get back to .500, they'll have to figure out a way to win on the road.
The Cavaliers will be trying to even their record for the first time in over a month on Sunday when they visit the Toronto Raptors.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Toronto -3.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 186.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 60% of bets for this game have been placed on Cleveland +3.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
Cleveland (16-17) has won four of its last five, including Friday's 97-93 win over Sacramento. A victory against the Raptors (17-16) would get the Cavaliers back to .500 for the first time since they were 9-9 on Dec. 2.
"For the last five games now we've had an opportunity to play with the same rotation," coach Mike Brown said. "It's good to see these guys play together for the first time and understand or have a good feel for one another on the floor."
However, the Cavaliers' struggles on the road have kept them from a winning record, as they have dropped eight of their last nine away from home. The Cavs have averaged just 84.0 points in those nine games while getting outscored by nearly 16 points per game.
Cleveland has won five of its last eight games in Toronto, but lost 91-82 there on Nov. 30. However, LeBron James, who leads the NBA with a scoring average of 28.9 points, missed that game with a sprained left index finger.
James had 37 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in the teams' first meeting this season, a 111-108 Cleveland home win on Nov. 24. He is averaging 27.3 points in 16 games against the Raptors, who have dropped 10 of 13 overall against the Cavs.
James scored 24 points against the Kings, but had only two in the fourth quarter. However, James, who had 32 points in the second half in Wednesday's 98-94 victory over Atlanta, picked up five of his 10 assists in the final period.
Cleveland's bench outscored Sacramento's reserves 23-0 in the final period and 37-17 overall.
"I was just taking what was there," James said. "Last game I had 19 in the fourth. Guys knocked down shots for us. It has been the other way around lately where I've let the first half come to me and then taken over."
James was playing with a sore right big toe that caused him to miss practice on Thursday, but said he would play against Toronto.
"I'll be playing on Sunday," he said. "It's not the best, but I'll play on Sunday."
The Raptors have dropped five of seven, including Friday's 101-85 loss to the streaking Detroit Pistons. The loss, which came after a seven-game road trip, was their third in five home games.
Chris Bosh had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Toronto, which got a season-low five points from its bench. The Raptors' reserves managed only seven points in Monday's 97-92 win in New Orleans.
"You have to come off the bench and play with some energy," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "You've got to run, and if you run then guys like Carlos (Delfino) and Jason (Kapono) will get some shots.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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