LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Collin Sexton scored 28 points and Kevin Love tallied 16 points and 18 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers used a balanced attack to upset the Toronto Raptors 126-101 on Monday.
Cedi Osman scored 19 points and Ante Zizic had 17 for Cleveland, who had a half dozen players in double figure scoring.
“That was a great win for us,” Love said. “Especially against a real good team at home. It was fun.”
Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard returned from a one game absence to score 25 points on 11 of 19 shooting from the field for Toronto who have the second best record in the NBA.
Kyle Lowry scored 14 points for the Raptors, who dropped to 48-20 on the season and trail Milwaukee by 2 1/2 games for the best record.
“They did a great job, they played well, and they made open shots,” Leonard said. “That’s pretty much the way the game played out.”
The Raptors said they wanted to rest Leonard in the last game because of the long season but they looked like a tired team against the Cavaliers and led only briefly in the first half.
Leonard hasn’t appeared in more than two consecutive games since finishing up five straight in early February.
Cleveland led by as much as 27 points late in the game after seizing command early in the fourth.
– Two ejected –
Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Cleveland’s Marquese Chriss were ejected for a shoving match in the third quarter. Ibaka fell down and got up and immediately went after Chriss.
Ibaka shoved Chriss from behind and grabbed his throat. A shoving match ensued and at one stage Ibaka tried to throw a punch but missed wildly. At that point Chriss was trying to break free and eventually did. One or both players could face a suspension.
Love said it didn’t last long.
“I saw it out of the corner of my eye,” Love said. “It happened so fast. Everybody almost wants to run out there and check what’s going on. It was broken up quick. That’s usually how it goes.”
Also, James Harden scored 28 points and Eric Gordon had 22 as the Houston Rockets overcame Kemba Walkers’s 40 point performance with a 118-106 win.
Clint Capela tallied 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets who won their ninth straight game. Chris Paul had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Harden had 10 assists and six rebounds.
Walker also had 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Hornets lost their second in a row.
Elsewhere, Spencer Dinwiddie scored 19 points and the Brooklyn Nets moved into sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 103-75 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Allen Crabbe finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Rodions Kurucs scored 13 points as the Nets took control early in the game and stayed in command.
The Nets won their fourth straight and vaulted over Detroit into the No. 6 spot in their final game before leaving for a seven-game road trip.
© Agence France-Presse