Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Wednesday, November 22nd
Game 2: Wednesday, December 6th
Game 3: Wednesday, February 21st
Game 4: Saturday, March 3rd

Cavaliers 86

(32-22, 12-15 away)

Raptors 85

(29-25, 19-8 home)

    Coverage: FSOH

    7:00 PM ET, February 21, 2007

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 23 21 27 1586
    TOR 25 23 22 1585

    Top Performers

    Cleveland: A. Varejao 16 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Blk

    Toronto: C. Bosh 24 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Varejao dunk with 16 seconds left lifts Cavs past Raptors

    Associated Press

    TORONTO -- Anderson Varejao's dunk over Chris Bosh upstaged LeBron James and put some distance between Cleveland and Toronto in the standings.

    James scored 29 points and Varejao slammed home teammate Sasha Pavlovic's missed shot with 16 seconds left to lift the Cavaliers to an 86-85 victory over the Raptors on Wednesday night.

    Varejao had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the second-place Cavaliers, who moved three games ahead of Toronto in the Eastern Conference. Indiana also beat Milwaukee night to overtake Toronto for fourth.

    A double-teamed James passed to an open Pavlovic, whose 3-point attempt hit the rim before Varejao emphatically dunked it before falling to the floor for the final points of the game.

    "That was definitely the play of the game. I had the best dunk until Andy decided to do that," James said with a smile.

    "It was a game-winner. He timed it just right," James said.

    Varejao finished 8-for-9 from the field. He had his second straight double-double in place of starting center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed his third consecutive game because of a family health matter.

    Varejao said he guessed when and where the rebound would be.

    "I saw him, but I went behind him," Varejao said of Bosh. "I took the rebound and put it down."

    Bosh had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Andrea Bargnani scored 18 points for the Raptors, whose eight-game home winning streak ended.

    Toronto's T.J. Ford missed badly on a layup and Morris Peterson missed a jumper at the buzzer.

    "You have to give Anderson credit, he just kicked our butt," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "We didn't put a body on him and he just beat us out."

    After James' dunk gave Cleveland a four-point lead, Toronto followed with a 6-0 run capped by Anthony Parker's 3-pointer.

    But James made two straight jumpers to cut Toronto's lead to one with just over a minute left.

    Bargnani missed badly on a 3-pointer and Bosh missed a 20-foot jumper before Varejao gave Cleveland the lead for good.

    "It was definitely a big win," Cleveland's Larry Hughes said. "They've playing well, especially at home. They've moved way up in the standings."

    James went 3-for-10 and had 10 points at halftime, but he heated up in the third quarter -- scoring 10 points in the first five minutes of the period.

    Game notes

    Cleveland coach Mike Brown said general manager Danny Ferry called him Tuesday night to tell him nothing was going on ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. ... Guard Damon Jones missed the game because of strep throat. ... Benetton Treviso owner Gilberto Benetton sat courtside next to Toronto assistant general manager Maurizio Gherardini, the former GM of Benetton.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 86 85
    FGM-FGA 36-83 (.434) 33-78 (.423)
    3PM-3PA 3-15 (.200) 6-16 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 11-16 (.688) 13-17 (.765)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-47 6-42
    Assists 13 18
    Turnovers 14 15
    Steals 7 4
    Blocks 2 5
    Fast Break Points 11 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (1/0) 12 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 8 8

    Top Performers

    Anderson Varejao Varejao
    Points: 16
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Chris Bosh Bosh
    Points: 24
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3