Raptors win 9th straight, beat Cleveland 115-109

CLEVELAND (AP) — Serge Ibaka scored 26 points, Kyle Lowry had 23 and the Toronto Raptors held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-109 on Thursday night for their ninth straight win.

Norman Powell scored eight consecutive points in the final minute after Cleveland cut the lead to 105-104. Powell hit a 3-pointer, scored on a layup after making a steal and sank three foul shots to seal the win.

Powell’s late-game flurry helped the Raptors stifle a comeback bid by the Cavaliers, who trailed 88-75 early in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland trimmed its deficit to one on three occasions and had a chance to tie the game, but Darius Garland missed the second of two free throws with 1:18 to play, leaving Toronto’s lead at 105-104.

Lowry was selected as a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star team Thursday, the sixth time he’ll appear in the game. Pascal Siakam, an All-Star starter, scored 19 points and Powell had 16.

Ibaka started in place of Marc Gasol, who is out indefinitely after re-injuring his left hamstring Tuesday against Atlanta.

Kevin Love and Collin Sexton each scored 23 points for Cleveland, which has lost nine of 10 overall and nine in a row at home.

Toronto scored 11 straight points late in the third quarter to go ahead 88-75. Lowry converted a three-point play, and Ibaka and Powell hit 3-pointers.

Toronto pushed the lead to 100-90 before Cleveland rallied again. The Cavaliers haven’t won at home since Dec. 23 when they defeated Atlanta,

Toronto led 56-52 after a tightly contested first half when the game was tied 12 times and had seven lead changes.

Cleveland committed 23 turnovers, with the most crucial coming on Powell’s steal and fast-break basket, which pushed the lead to 110-104.

The teams played twice in Toronto, with the Raptors winning both games by 20 points.

TIP-INS

Raptors: Gasol missed 12 games with the hamstring injury from Dec. 20 to Jan. 12. … Ibaka made his 15th start of the season. … Toronto will end January with a winning record, marking the 21st straight month it has done so. The Raptors’ last losing month was January 2017.

Cavaliers: Garland scored 16 points after sitting out for rest purposes Tuesday. Cleveland coach John Beilein said Garland informed the staff that his legs had been feeling tired after starting the first 47 games. Garland played in just five games in his only season at Vanderbilt because of a knee injury.

UP NEXT

Raptors: Visit Detroit on Friday. Toronto is 2-0 against the Pistons this season.

Cavaliers: Host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. The teams met in the NBA Finals every year from 2015-18, but have two of the worst records in the league this season.