Raptors guard Kyle Lowry out of lineup for game against Cavaliers

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The slumping Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a crushing 133-99 defeat to the Toronto Raptors as LeBron James was left less than impressed. However, without Ibaka and Lowry, he's going to have to up that - and by a lot. "They good." It's true, the Raptors finally got a game on national USA television and they put on quite a performance.

Numerous Raptors refused to call this home-stand a "measuring stick" versus the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors - combatants in the last three NBA Finals. It's going to start with us and everybody just getting back to what we were doing when we were playing good ball.

Earlier in the day, James, the best player of this and most other generations held court with the media.

In the middle of his fourth season back in Cleveland, James had been asked about differing agendas in the locker room, which Lue referred to postgame, signaling questions about potential issues within the locker room. The Raptors made 53-of-106 attempts from the floor for 50 percent and 18-of-42 shots from three-point range.

The Raptors were missing an injured Kyle Lowry and suspended Serge Ibaka, yet still had little trouble with the Cavaliers. There was the quick and lanky young Wright perplexing the undersized Isaiah Thomas, and two fast threes for Miles. But until the Raptors prove they don't have those moments of "reverting back", doubt will follow them.

"I think that was one of our advantages tonight, especially the second unit, was playing it fast when we were able to get stops", said VanVleet, who had forward Jakob Poeltl calling him the "GOAT", in the locker-room while guard Lorenzo Brown put the scrum on his Instagram story. VanVleet led his team with 13 points by the half, while the Raptors went into the locker room with a rather preposterous 65-40 lead. The Ringer's Zachary Kram pointed out that this is the first time in James's career that he's lost two games in a row by more than 25 points.

Sometimes, the Raptors have shown that they can get off to strong starts against a team like Cleveland but there have been times where they let the foot off the gas and the game gets away from them.

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Still, Philadelphia (19-19) is very much in contention for a playoff berth, a marked improvement on recent years. That's just a true testament of professionals in this league, able to come in and know their roles.

The second half was more of the same - the Raptors ruling every statistical category.

Suddenly the Cavs, at 26-15, are 6.5 games back of the Boston Celtics.

"This is just us during the regular season", James said. I just want to win.

"I don't care about no damn plus-minus", James said.

"We are in a funk", he added.

Cleveland combines high volume and accuracy from beyond the arc. They had 31 assists against the Cavs, compared to the 15 they had versus the Heat.

Toronto head coach Dwane Casey said at morning shootaround that he wasn't sure if Lowry would dress against Cleveland, but then confirmed he was out two hours before tipoff. We just have to find our way to get out of it.

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