LOS ANGELES: Newly-named all-stars Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam combined for 42 points as the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors won their ninth straight game with a 115-109 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday (Friday in Manila).

Lowry scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and Siakam added 19 as the visiting Raptors extended their season-best winning streak.

Lowry, who is headed to the All-Star Game for the sixth straight season, was named as one of seven reserves from the Eastern Conference to join teammate Siakam, who was chosen as a starter last week.

nba20200201 - Raptors hold off Cavs, extend win streak to nine
Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry (No. 7) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Porter Jr. during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Cleveland. AP PHOTO

Serge Ibaka scored a team-high 26 points in the win as the Raptors completed a three-game sweep of the season series with the Cavaliers.

“That was anybody’s game from start to finish, to be honest,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “You’ve just got to grind it out and find a way.”

Norman Powell scored eight of his 16 points in the final 62 seconds of the game for Toronto to help blunt a Cavs’ rally. Fred VanVleet had eight points and a season-best 12 assists in the win.

Kevin Love and Collin Sexton scored 23 points each for Cleveland.

Darius Garland had 16 points and eight assists, Kevin Porter and Larry Nance added 13 points each, and Tristan Thompson had two points and 12 rebounds.

Toronto took a 10-point lead on a clutch three-point basket with 5:41 remaining.

But the Cavaliers went on a 9-0 run, and Love’s three-pointer cut the lead to one point with just under four minutes left in the fourth, 100-99.

Powell followed with a three-pointer and then a dunk with 35 seconds left to give Toronto a six-point lead. He added two free throws to get the lead back to six with 20 seconds left.

Elsewhere, Trae Young tallied 39 points, and the Atlanta Hawks upset the Philadelphia 76ers with a 39-point first quarter en route to a 127-117 victory.

In the late game, Nikola Jokic had 28 points and 10 assists, Will Barton scored 18 as Denver Nuggets pulled out a 106-100 win over the Utah Jazz.

AFP

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