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Donovan Mitchell’s Cleveland Cavaliers debut was adopted by a 108-105 opening night time loss by the Toronto Raptors.

Donovan Mitchell’s Cleveland Cavaliers debut was adopted by a 108-105 opening night time loss by the Toronto Raptors.

TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors spoiled Donovan Mitchell’s Cleveland Cavaliers debut.

Inside a full of life Scotiabank Area, with a sellout crowd that was bigger than common for an opener, Cleveland’s playoff quest started with a 108-105 loss.

There have been loads of moments all through the sport when Mitchell confirmed precisely why the Cavaliers acquired him in September’s trajectory-changing commerce from the Utah Jazz. He helped maintain Cleveland’s offense going with All-Star level guard Darius Garland within the locker room due to a nasty eye harm late within the first half.

Mitchell’s brilliance was not sufficient.

“He is carried groups on his again, so he understands the second and he is capable of do it,” Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff stated of Mitchell after the loss. “This isn’t new. That is what we anticipate from him.”

The three-time All-Star scored 31 factors on 12-of-21 capturing from the sector, 2-of-8 from 3-point vary and 5-6 from the free-throw line with 9 assists. However Mitchell went the ultimate 2:27 with out a subject aim try (except for a last-second prayer when the buzzer sounded), because the scrappy Raptors turned up the defensive depth and hounded Mitchell on each contact — a method that would not occur. It will have been potential if Garland had been obtainable.

Final season, the Cavs withered with out a crown. They had been worse with him off the ground at 9.3 factors per 100 possessions. However Mitchell gave Cleveland a combating probability, exhibiting a significant distinction on this yr’s roster composition and highlighting why everybody contained in the group has been nervous since his arrival.

There have been ferocious drives to the basket, explosive finishes within the paint, clean jumpers and slithery assaults. Mitchell even confirmed off his masterful playmaking abilities, accounting for one-third of the crew’s assists. The sport slipped away in six seconds-and-a-half minutes when he rested, because the Cavs had been outscored 14-6 throughout these two essential stretches. With Mitchell on the ground, Cleveland outscored Toronto by 10 factors — the very best mark by any Cavaliers participant.

“He is an elite basketball participant,” Bickerstaff stated of Mitchell. “There aren’t many guys on this league who’re higher than Donovan and are able to doing what he can do. He places lots of strain on the protection. He has the flexibility to go all. He is robust to sort out and forces defenses to make robust choices time and time once more.”

Sedi Osman offered a scoring punch off the bench, going 12-of-17 from the sector and 3-of-6 from past the arc. Evan Mobley — in a extremely anticipated showdown with the Rookie of the 12 months — added 14 factors and 6 rebounds. Jarrett Allen scored 13 factors and grabbed 10 boards to file his first double-double of the season.

Toronto and Cleveland are seen as Jap Convention playoff contenders. Each seemed the half Wednesday night time in a chippy matchup that featured 16 lead adjustments, 17 ties and went all the way down to the ultimate buzzer. What else was anticipated between two evenly matched groups?

With 16.3 seconds left and Cleveland trailing by 4 factors, Mitchell made a pair of free throws, pulling the Cavs inside two factors. Raptors capturing guard Gary Trent Jr. then break up a pair of freebies, giving Cleveland one other probability in a one-possession recreation.

However the Raptors deliberately fouled Caris LeVert earlier than Cavs might hit a possible game-tying 3-pointer. LeVert made each. Then Treasured Achiua’s late breakaway dunk prolonged the result in three. Mitchell’s 74-footer missed every part, and the group erupted.

Garland completed with 4 factors, three assists and 5 turnovers in 13 minutes earlier than an inadvertent collision with Trent within the backcourt resulted in a bruise on the within of his left eyelid. The younger star missed the final 28 minutes.

“We had been with out one in all our weapons,” Mobley advised Cleveland.com after the loss. “It was exhausting to recover from. That places lots of ball-handling and playmaking obligations on Donovan. We simply could not give you sufficient performs late within the recreation.”

“It is exhausting to see him go down like this in a freak accident. Do not know the complete extent. You all haven’t any information. However he is a fighter and he is a competitor and he’ll come again robust,” Mitchell stated of his backcourt mate. “The one factor about this crew is that we fought and competed. When one man goes down, the following man goes up. That is the street to changing into a extremely good crew. It is robust, however I am happy with the best way this crew responded.”

The Raptors had six gamers in double figures. Pascal Siakam set the tempo with 23 factors. Barnes stuffed the stat sheet with 15 factors, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals, overcoming foul hassle for many of the night time that restricted him to 32 minutes. With Burns on the courtroom, the Raptors had been an incredible plus-20.

Mitchell spoke of his uncontrollable pleasure earlier than Wednesday night time’s recreation. He spent the week imagining the emotion of placing on a Cavs jersey for the primary time.

This was not the end result of his desires.

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