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Donovan Mitchell shines, Darius Garland Leaves With Eye Injury as Cavs Fall to Raptors 108-105

The Cleveland Cavaliers tipped off the 2022-2023 season with a playoff-like atmosphere in Toronto, but after losing Darius Garland at the end of the second quarter due to an eye injury, they could not overcome the Raptors, falling to 0-1 on the season after the 108-105 loss.

The Wine and Golders started off slow, feeling out the Raptors. The Cavs only shot 36% from the field in the first quarter. Evan Mobley led the way with eight points. New Cavalier Donovan Mitchell scored four points in seven minutes in his first action as a member of the Cavs.

The defense gave up 28 points, including four 3-pointers and struggled to create constant stops. They only had three assists in the first, uncharacteristically from what they were a year ago.

The Raptors continued their onslaught of the Cavs early to begin the second quarter, but with 10 minutes to go in the half, Darius Garland got his first FG to stop an 11-0 run by the Raptors. The Cavs were able to cut the deficit to six and force Nick Nurse to use a timeout. Out of the timeout, the team continued firing on all cylinders.

Baskets from Cedi Osman, Kevin Love and Jarrett Allen helped the team respond to Toronto's 11-0 run with one of their own and tie the game at 47 late in the second. In the second quarter, the Cavs shot 73%, helped by Osman's eight in the quarter and 13 overall in the first half. Mitchell also dropped in 13 at the half, going 6-11 from the field, including a nice layup while splitting both defenders.

The Cavs led the Raptors 57-51 at the break, outscoring the Raptors 35-23 in the second. Out of the 51 points scored by Toronto, almost half of them were scored by Pascal Siakam (15) and Gary Trent Jr. (10). The Raptors also had more attempts from the free-throw line with 19, compared to only six for the Cavs. Fortunately for the Cavs, the Raptors only shot 39% from the field in the half.

Garland did not return in the second half due to being poked in the eye late in the second quarter, with Osman taking his place. The Cavs defense could not hold their six point halftime lead, as the Raptors would take a 73-71 lead late into the period.

The Cavs however, responded with a 13-3 run to close the quarter to take an eight-point lead into the final period. In that 13-3 run, Mitchell, LeVert and Wade helped in the scoring column. Mitchell led the team after three quarters with 23 points and eight assists, showcasing why President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman made the deal for the three-time All-star this past offseason.

Toronto responded early in the fourth, hitting four three's to tie the game at 90 with 8:52 to go in the opening contest. Back from a TV timeout, and last year's first-time All-star Jarrett Allen made two key blocks and a layup to give the Cavs a 92-90 lead. After a basket by Toronto's Scottie Barnes, Allen again helped out again on the offensive side, flushing home a slam on an assist from LeVert to give the Cavs the lead back with 6:21 to go.

Toronto would take the lead back 98-97 with 3:31 to go. An intense three minutes would ensue in what would be a great early test for the Cavs in Game 1 of 82. With the Scotiabank Arena going crazy, it was time for the Wine and Golders to respond, but they never got the lead back, falling to Toronto

It was a team effort by the Cavs, as everybody contributed. Four players wound up in double figures, including 31 from Mitchell, and they outscored the Raptors bench 33 to 16, but they could not finish in the fourth quarter, similarly to the end of last season. The Cavs outshot the Raptors from the field 49 to 42%, but they could not get the key stops when they needed to.

The Cavs will look to bounce back against the Chicago Bulls from the United Center on Saturday, October 22nd. Tip occurs a little bit after 8 p.m.


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