The Cleveland Cavaliers tried to bounce back from a tough loss in Minnesota against the Timberwolves, but somehow, things got even worse for the defending Eastern Conference champs on Thursday night. The Toronto Raptors took down the Cavs with ease, 133-99, on their home floor, putting LeBron James in unfamiliar territory with his hometown team. The Cavaliers have now dropped consecutive games by at least 25 points each for the first time in the LeBron era. The 133 points were also a season high given up by Cleveland, who has given up at least 127 in three straight games. They have now dropped six of eight overall, and outside of James's 26 points, struggled from the floor. That included Isaiah Thomas missing his first 11 shots and Kevin Love finishing with just 10 points. The Raptors made half of their shots on the night and out-rebounded the Cavs by a wide margin of 72-45 in the big win. Fred VanVleet's career-high 22 points led Toronto, who also got 15 points and a season-high 18 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas. VanVleet reached that career mark by going 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, where the Raptors made a season-high 18 shots from. All of this came with them missing an injured Kyle Lowry and a suspended Serge Ibaka. They will stay home to host the other half of the last three NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors, on Saturday night. The Cavs are right back at it tonight in Indiana against the Pacers.
Celtics Rally Past Sixers in London
The Boston Celtics seem to play better when behind this season and that fact didn't change at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday. After trailing by as many as 22, the Celtics rallied past the Philadelphia 76ers for a 114-103 win in what was the eighth NBA game played in London. Kyrie Irving finished with 20 points, seven assists, and six rebounds to power the comeback for their conference-leading 34th win. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 21 points, while Marcus Morris added 19 points and eight rebounds in what was the Celtics' seventh straight victory. J.J. Reddick's 22 points and five three-pointers helped the Sixers get out to their hot start, which quickly went away in the second half. After leading by nine points at halftime, Philadelphia was outscored by 20 points in the final 24 minutes. The game did get chippy in the second half when Ben Simmons was called for a hard screen on Morris. The Celtics' veteran took exception to the rookie's hard hit, which led to a mini scuffle and technical fouls for both players. The Celtics will be back state-side and at home on Tuesday night when they host the New Orleans Pelicans. For the Sixers, this did go down as a home game for them, but they will have an actual home game on Monday night against the second-best team in the East, the Toronto Raptors.
Arizona State Falls on Home Floor
The upsets in the top-25 continue to pile up in the college basketball world, with a top-15 team falling on their home floor Thursday night. The Oregon Ducks got 18 points from Payton Pritchard, who hit the game-winning free throws with 13.8 seconds left, in a 76-72 upset of No. 11 Arizona State. The Ducks used a 38-16 advantage in the paint, 15 second-chance points, and 15 offensive rebounds to overpower the once fourth-ranked Sun Devils. Elijah Brown finished with 18 points and Mikyle McIntosh had a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds in the Ducks' 12th win and second in conference play. After an undefeated start, the Sun Devils are now 1-3 in Pac-12 play, and fell in front of the largest crowd at Wells Fargo Arena since 2010, which was counted at 13,693. Kodi Justice had 21 points, Shannon Evans II added 19, and Tra Holder scored 14 in Arizona State's third loss overall. After a slow start, they used an 11-0 run to tie the game by halftime. The Ducks then led by eight points late in the second half, but the Sun Devils kept it close enough to force Oregon to make free throws, which they did. Oregon will battle another ranked opponent in the state, as they visit the 17th-ranked Arizona Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. The Sun Devils look to find their groove when they host Oregon State that same day.