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Irving's clutch 3-pointer lifts Cavs over Raptors
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Kyrie Irving's 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left lifted the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 99-98 win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Following a Jose Calderon layup with 12.6 seconds left, Irving took the inbounds pass and casually strolled up court. As the seconds ticked away Irving took one step to the basket then pulled up from well-behind the arc for the game-winner.
Calderon then tried to throw a lob from the left sideline, but the pass was stolen by Alonzo Gee and the Cavs held on for their second come-from-behind victory in as many days. They've won a season-best three in a row.
Irving, who was named to his first All-Star Game earlier this week, finished with a game-high 32 points and has combined for 107 points over his last three contests.
Newly-acquired Marreese Speights scored 17 points off the bench and Tristan Thompson added 14 points and eight rebounds for Cleveland.
Amir Johnson led the Raptors with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Alan Anderson finished with 17 points. Ed Davis scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan scored 15 for Toronto, which has dropped six of its last eight games.
The Cavs opened the fourth quarter with a 14-4 surge to take their first lead since the first quarter at 80-79.
The teams traded blows from there until Irving's layup put Cleveland on top, 92-87 with just over 3 1/2 minutes left.
Toronto, though, rallied for a 7-2 swing to tie the game at 94-94 and took the lead back when Anderson found Johnson streaking down the lane with 1:16 left.
Thompson couldn't handle a pass from Irving in the lane on the Cavs next possession, but the rookie out of Texas was able to redeem himself with a block that lead to Irving's fastbreak layup to tie the game at 96-96.
The teams traded blows for most of the first quarter until a Calderon 3- pointer near the midway point of the frame sparked a 13-2 run to give the Raptors a 23-13 advantage. The Cavs, though, outscored Toronto, 6-2, the rest of the way to go into the second quarter trailing 25-19.
The Raptors stretched their lead to double-digits at 31-20, following an Anderson jumper, but Cleveland used a 16-9 swing to pull within 40-36 with 5:22 left in the first half.
Toronto responded with an 8-2 push to take a 48-38 lead at the 2:16 mark, but the Cavaliers were able to close the gap to 50-46 at the break.
Cleveland shaved its deficit to two points several times in the third quarter, but Johnson's layup with 6 1/2 minutes left sparked an 11-5 burst to give the Raptors a 67-59 lead and took a 75-66 advantage into the final period.
Irving has scored at least 31 points in four of his last five games and has posted nine games with 30-plus points ... Wayne Ellington scored 12 points off the bench in the win ... The Cavs shot 54.5 percent (6-for-11) from 3-point range ... The Raptors lost for just the third time in their last nine games with Cleveland.
01/26 22:11:09 ET