The Toronto Raptors won their Saturday night matchup against the Cavaliers in Cleveland, final score 135 – 115.

Gary Trent Jr., ladies and gentlemen. Sometimes, you just have to let the numbers speak for themselves: 44 points (career-high) with an efficiency of 17/19 from the field (89.5%), including seven three-pointers (career-high). Not to mention the 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Just an absolutely brilliant outing for Toronto’s newest acquisition.

Malachi Flynn also had himself a night and got career highs in both points and assists, with 20 and 11 respectively. What is it they say about shooting the ball? It’s contagious? Yuta Watanabe would also finish the battle with his best performance thus far in the NBA with 14. Everything seemed to be flowing smoothly for the Raptors on Saturday night.

Nick Nurse’s squad started the game flaming hot and found their shot from anywhere they wanted. They opened up the festivities by going 11/11 from the hardwood and finishing their highest-scoring quarter this campaign with 47 points as a team, shooting 85% in the first act.

In fact, Toronto would head to the locker with the most points in one half in franchise history, with 87.

A very reassuring observation, without a shadow of a doubt, for the whole organization, was the Raptors’ much improved defense against Cleveland. Their communication on D was almost impeccable and even short-staffed, like it was so often the case this year, their coverage was always on point. They had 11 blocks as a team against the Cavs, a season high.

Collin Sexton and his teammates never really got things going and after leading 2-0 to start things up, it was all Raptors after that. The deficit was as high as 38. Nonetheless, the former member of the Crimson Tide finished with 29 points and 5 assists. Kevin Love, who came back from a long-term injury recently, added 18 points of his own.

Through it all. The game belonged to Trent Jr. as the Raptors kept their slim playoff hopes alive.

Sunday the Toronto Raptors travel to the Big Apple to take on the sizzling Canadian RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks at The Garden, tip-off at 8:00 pm EST. It will be a true test of their resilience as a team, as they’ve only won once this entire season on the second night of a back-to-back.

Written by Thomas Debost

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