It takes a strong heart -- and a strong stomach -- to be a Cavaliers fan these days. Also a Cavaliers player. Anderson Varejao felt his stomach drop when he saw his inbounds pass go sailing by Luol Deng with 7.8 seconds left and the Cavaliers leading the Toronto Raptors, 102-100, on Tuesday night at The Q. "You know that feeling that you get? No way,'' Varejao said. "What's going on? Yes, way.'' Unfortunately for Varejao, Deng was being guarded under the basket by Toronto's DeMar DeRozan, who had an arm around his waist and was holding him in place. "I knew I had to throw the ball a little stronger because I knew DeRozan can jump, and you don't want to throw a soft pass,'' Varejao continued. "Lu could never leave to go get it. There was nobody behind him, but he couldn't move. "It was a bad feeling, when I saw Lu and I threw it and he was not moving.'' The bad feeling went away when Greivis Vasquez returned the favor on the other end, throwing the ball to Deng with 1.9 seconds left, preserving the Cavs victory. "It was just a bad play for me,'' Vasquez said. "It was me going to my weak hand and I lost my balance, stepped kind of weird. I turned the ball over. I'll take responsibility. I'm not going to run away. I'm a man. I wish I could be in that position again so we have another opportunity tomorrow. "I was trying to spin back because I thought he got me beat to the spot. I was trying to spin but I thought I went too fast. I should have waited another second. That's a good learning experience for me but I like being in during crunch time. It should have never come to that.'' Indeed. It never looked as if it was going to. But the Cavaliers were at their maddening best on Tuesday -- looking unbeatable in the first half, building a 21-point lead in the third quarter and then having to scratch and claw to survive a furious Toronto rally and plenty of drama down the stretch.
Cavaliers hold on to beat Raptors, 102-100
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Mar 26