Grades from Toronto Raptors close win vs Cleveland Cavaliers

The Toronto Raptors picked up their ninth-straight win with a narrow victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. How did everyone grade in the win?

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Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Well, well, well. Look at that, the Toronto Raptors have once again - this time knocking off the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-109. As the scoreline suggests, it wasn't all that easy. Despite being one of the current basement dwellers in the NBA, the Cavs still brought the fight for 48 minutes.

Good news rang around for the Toronto Raptors before the game, with news of Kyle Lowry being selected to the NBA All-Star Game for the sixth time reverberating around the team. Good news as always then. Lowry is consistently one of the winningest point guards in the NBA, and definitely one of the best. Sometimes, his efforts get overlooked, but not by the coaches.

To celebrate, Lowry brought it on Thursday night, going for 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, adding five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. The leading man was Serge Ibaka, though, who was filling in for the absent Marc Gasol.

Ibaka was lightning in a bottle for the whole game, finishing with 26 points, and even knocking down three triples. The Raptors, as they have proved all this season, have replacement-level players who are always ready to step up.

If you haven't noticed, Norman Powell remains one of those players, and he knocked down another 16 points on a 4-of-7 shooting night from deep.

Overall, the Raptors fought hard, forcing the Cavs into 21 turnovers and scoring 25 points off of those Cavalier mishaps. Even if they were outrebounded once again, they did enough to get over the line.

Again, that's nine straight wins for the Raptors, and they now find themselves with a game and a half lead over the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat as they hold onto the second seed.

Thankfully, this game ended the way we all wanted it to, but how did everyone grade in the win?

Starters Grades

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Toronto Raptors (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry

Point Guard | Toronto Raptors
A
Running out of superlatives for Kyle Lowry, so may have to start using expletives. He was going at it all night after being named to the All-Star Game for the sixth time. Lowry battled hard, made his shots, picked his spots, and helped the team over the line to victory. Just as active on defense with four steals too, and his start to the third quarter set the Raptors in motion.
Fred VanVleet

Fred VanVleet

Point Guard | Toronto Raptors
C+
Not a great shooting night but Fred VanVleet was able to notch 12 assists on the night. Sure, he isn't an elite playmaker but he knows how to get his teammates going and can find their spots. He's no Kyle Lowry but he's still a tremendous player. For the record, he was just one shot and three rebounds shy of a triple-double. These Raptors guards can rebound.
OG Anunoby

OG Anunoby

Small Forward | Toronto Raptors
B-
Not a lot better from OG Anunoby in the offensive department, but at least he made all of his three-pointers - even if he only took one. A few easy looks passed up at the rim and he was left out of the closing lineup, but he defended fairly well so gets a pass. Still, we can't always give him a pass.
Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam

Power Forward | Toronto Raptors
B
An off-night of sorts for Pascal Siakam, but he still finished with 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Shooting touch wasn't all there but he got to the free-throw line and attacked Tristan Thompson at the rim. Four handsy steals on defense looks good, but it wasn't his best night on that end of the court, missing on a few defensive assignments.
Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka

Center | Toronto Raptors
A+
Air Congo was in full flight against the Cavs. Usually, the Raptors would feel the force of missing Marc Gasol, but Ibaka stepped into the starting role with real promise and delivered. He missed only one shot inside the three-point line, going 10-of-14 from the field and knocking down 3-of-6 from three for 26 points, adding four rebounds, and block, and steal. The rebound numbers aren't exactly starting center numbers, but Ibaka still brought the energy.
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Bench Grades

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Toronto Raptors (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Norman Powell

Norman Powell

Shooting Guard | Toronto Raptors
A
Norman Powell scored seven straight points in the fourth quarter to help seal the game and had a pretty decent night all around. He, at times, struggled inside the paint and attacking the rim, but his three-point shooting remains superb. 16 points and zero assists - classic.
Patrick McCaw

Patrick McCaw

Shooting Guard | Toronto Raptors
C+
First night of wearing the mask. I guess Patrick McCaw was okay - meaning he didn't harm the team all that much. He made both of his shots and grabbed a few boards, as well as defending fairly hard. Give him credit, he wasn't too bad in this one.
Chris Boucher

Chris Boucher

Power Forward | Toronto Raptors
B-
Nice to see Chris Bouche back and contributing. He started off hot and finished 4-of-5 from the field for 10 points, but struggled later in the game as the Cavs began to claw their way back into the game. Probably doesn't get a look in if Marc Gasol and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are playing, but it was nice to see him regardless.
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Head Coach and Opponent

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Toronto Raptors (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse

Head Coach | Toronto Raptors
C
Nick Nurse clearly sees something in Patrick McCaw, and even threw him in at power forward in an uber-small lineup in the second quarter. The Raptors struggled on the glass but got to the line, shot well, and moved the ball well. Still, Nurse probably opened the door for the Cavs by holding onto the bench lineup for too long. A win is a win, though.
Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers

(13-36) | Eastern Conference
B-
It's nice to see Kevin Love playing well, even if he does look frustrated by some of the decision-making from Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Credit to the Cavs, though. They shot the ball well, got to the glass and put away second-chance points, but turnovers killed them. 21 turnovers leading to 25 points off of turnovers for the Raptors, that's enough to kill any team's momentum.
Next: Stock Take, and saying goodbye to Kobe Bryant

Well, that's nine-straight wins now and the Toronto Raptors are rolling towards the All-Star break once again. Congrats to Kyle Lowry for becoming a six-time All-Star.