Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/11

Game 1: Wednesday, December 11th
Game 2: Friday, January 3rd
Game 3: Wednesday, March 26th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 16th

Cavaliers 83

(14-57, 3-33 away)

Raptors 89

(22-48, 14-20 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 26, 2003

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 20 14 19 3083
    TOR 27 15 25 2289

    Top Performers

    Cle: Z. Ilgauskas 25 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Blk

    Tor: M. Peterson 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

    Peterson scores 14 of 21 points in second half

    TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Raptors finally beat the NBA's worst team.

    Morris Peterson scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half as the Raptors ended a three-game losing skid with a 89-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

    "It was a big relief to get a win," said Peterson, whose team lost its two previous games to Cleveland. "Both of us have been struggling all year. Right now we are playing for pride."

    Vince Carter added 18 points for the lottery-bound Raptors, losers of nine of their previous 10.

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, who recorded consecutive wins for the first time this season before coming to Toronto. At 14-57, Cleveland has the worst record in the NBA.

    "We're fighting not to be the worst team in Cavs history, so we need two more wins," Ilgauskas said.

    Ilgauskas' ninth point of the third quarter cut Toronto's lead to two, but Peterson made two 3-pointers and a layup during an 18-6 run as the Raptors entered the fourth with a 14-point lead. Peterson's short jumper and Voshon Lenard's 18-foot jumper gave Toronto an 18-point early in the fourth.

    Jermaine Jones' dunk capped an 8-2 run as the Cavaliers closed within 11 with just over five minutes left, but Toronto's Rafer Alston followed with a jumper, a steal and an assist on Peterson's two-handed dunk with 4:15 left.

    Milt Palacio's 3-pointer, Jones' three-point play and Carlos Boozer's jumper cut Toronto's lead to five with 25 seconds left, but Palacio missed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left and Carter ran out the clock.

    "They were sleeping, and we could have gotten a win if we worked a little harder," Cleveland's Ricky Davis said.

    Peterson, removed from the starting lineup twice last week, went 9-for-18 from the field. He also had six rebounds and four assists.

    Lenard added 15 points.

    Carter had 16 points, including a desperation jumper just before the end of the half as Toronto led 42-34 at intermission.

    "I refuse to lay down and play for a lottery pick," Carter said. "That doesn't sit well."

    Game notes
    Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens is two losses away from tying Bill Fitch for the most losses in NBA history. ... Toronto's Jerome Williams missed his third straight game with a stiff neck. ... The Raptors finish their season in Cleveland on April 17. ... Cleveland outrebounded Toronto 47-39. ... The Cavaliers committed 23 turnovers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 89
    FGM-FGA 31-81 (.383) 36-91 (.396)
    3PM-3PA 3-14 (.214) 7-15 (.467)
    FTM-FTA 18-20 (.900) 10-13 (.769)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-47 13-39
    Assists 17 22
    Turnovers 23 15
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 5 8
    Fast Break Points 7 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (1/0) 24 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas Ilgauskas
    Points: 25
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Morris Peterson Peterson
    Points: 21
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 2