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Cavs lose the game and Garland on opening night in Toronto

The Cleveland Cavaliers opened the 2022-23 season, their 53rd overall, on the road in Toronto against the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. With the addition of Donovan Mitchell, the young players that gave the city so much joy last year are locked and loaded for the new season.


But opening night for the Wine and Gold proved to be a bummer as the Raptors used an energetic and fast-paced fourth quarter to defeat the turnover-plagued Cavaliers in Mitchell’s debut, 108-105 in Toronto Wednesday night.




Cavs Roster for 2022-23 Season

Centers – Jarrett Allen, Robin Lopez

Forwards – Mamadi Diakite, Kevin Love, Evan Mobley, Isaiah Mobley, Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens, Dean Wade

Guards – Dylan Windler, Ricky Rubio, Raul Neto, Donovan Mitchell


Head Coach – JB Bickerstaff

Assistant Coaches – Greg Buckner, Sidney Lowe, Luke Walton, Antonio Lang, JJ Outlaw


Game #1

First Quarter

Caris Levert received the first start at small forward for the Wine and Gold. The rest of the starting lineup included Mitchell, Garland, Mobley, and Allen.


After the tip, both teams were active and solid in their ball distribution. But as the score went back and forth, it was clear the seven turnovers on the Cavs gave Toronto a good start. The end of the quarter saw the Raptors go up, 28-22. Three of those turnovers led to 3 three-pointers for the team North of the Border. 


Evan Mobley scored 8 of his 14 points in the quarter as the Cavs fell behind 28-22.


Second Quarter Cavs hot!

Cedi Osman came off the bench and found an outside touch leading the team with 13 points and three big treys, two off assists from Mitchell, helping the team to a 57-51 advantage at the half.




And the new addition? Mitchell’s first half line reads like an All-Star! 6 of 11 from the field, one triple, four assists, a board, one steal, and a +/- of 11!


Spider’s first points as a Cavalier!


As a team JB’s men had 15 assists for the half. Caris LeVert had five of them, showing that he can share the rock if that’s what the team needs! Jarrett Allen was a beast under the bucket with seven hard-fought rebounds. He and Toronto’s Pascal Siakim were duking it out under the basket quite a few times in the half.


Only problem for the Cavaliers was the poke in the eye Darius Garland suffered at the hands of Gary Trent Jr. Trent tried to swipe an inbounds pass to Garland, but his right pinkie appeared to hit Darius’ left eye. As he was helped off the court, his eye had all but swollen shut. Darius did not return for the game.


Cavs take the lead!

The Cavaliers were down 43-41 when the big center from the University of Texas stepped up.


Jarrett Allen started the run in the second quarter with two quick buckets. Like this amazing play!




Then off a Pascal Siakim miss, Kevin Love grabbed the rebound and found Mitchell who drove for a quick layup. 


Scotty Barnes hit a step back three, but that’s when Mitchell and Osman hit back to back threes to push the Cavalier lead to 53-47.


The Cavaliers took the 57-51 lead to the locker room. The Cavs only attempted 7 free throws the first half while Toronto had 19 attempts from the charity stripe. Nothing like home cooking early in the year!

Third Quarter

Evan Mobley, a somewhat quiet first half, decided to get a little physical with this slam in the early part of the third quarter!



At the 4:59 mark, the Cavaliers had a nice 73-67 lead off two free throws by Jarrett Allen. But the Raptors scored seven quick, unanswered points to take a short one point lead. But LeVert, who had 10 points and 7 assists for the night, hit his 2nd three after some nice ball movement by the Cavs to grab back the lead.


The last two minutes of the quarter saw the Cavs go on an 11-2 run to go up by 8 at the end of the quarter. Mitchell’s 10 points in the quarter paced the Cavalier attack, who mostly ran the point with his running mate, Garland, out.


Fourth Quarter

Toronto came out about as hot as a team could. In the first three minutes of the quarter, the Raptors hit four triples. Two were by O.G. Anunoby, one by Trent and one by Precious Achiuwa. The Cavs traded twos for threes with Mobley and Mitchell during that time, but the Raptors tied it up at 90.


Then, Jarrett Allen decided to flex his muscle. Allen went up to challenge a dunk attempt by Anunoby and blocked the shot! LeVert grabbed the rebound and rewarded the Big Fella with a feed for a sweet layup.




Big Play by the Raptors

Anunoby was fouled and hit his second toss to trim the Cavalier lead to one. 


With the shot clock running down on the ensuing possession, Mitchell sent up a step back 3. It goes down but rolled out. Allen grabbed the board and as he rose up for a slam, Van Fleet hit him from behind with no call from the referees. Toronto flew down for a layup to go up, 98-97. It was the turning point of the game. The Cavaliers would not regain the lead.


Toronto went on a 13-2 run, hitting 5 of their 13 threes during the 4th. And though the Cavs got to within one, 106-105 with seconds remaining, the Raptors got an end of game slam to seal the win.


Final Thoughts

On opening night, fans were treated to a playoff-like atmosphere in the arena. There was strong, physical play on both sides. Big shots and defensive plays on both sides. But in the end the turnovers and missed opportunities hurt the Cavaliers, as did not having their All-Star point guard. 


Two big areas that were downfalls for the men from the Land: the 16 turnovers lead to 25 points! And the Raptors outmuscled the Cavs on the offensive boards. Those second and third chance points were killers. Not often you see a Cavalier team beaten on the boards.

Presser musings:

Mitchell: “I’m proud of the way this group responded.”


JB (on Darius’ condition): ”His head was clear and all those things but he was cut and bleeding pretty bad from the inside of his eyelid.”




Mitchell-31 points, 9 assists

Mobley-14 points, 6 boards

Allen-13 points, 10 boards, 2 blocks

Osman-17 points, 3 of 6 from three

Next up:

The Cavaliers next play in Chicago, Saturday night. 


I am a math teacher in SW Ohio. Born and raised in NE Ohio, I am married with four sons who keep the flame burning for all things Cleveland. I cover soccer, betting, football and anything that focuses on the human side of sports.



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