CLEVELAND (AP) — With his team in trouble, DeMar DeRozan flashed his All-Star form at the finish.
DeRozan scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, and the Toronto Raptors won for the sixth time in seven games with a 99-93 victory over the injury-riddled Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
"DeMar was huge down the stretch," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "He made shots, he made plays, he made some free throws."
DeRozan also made a key defensive play with the Raptors leading 94-91 and 32 seconds remaining. He stole a pass from Spencer Hawes by knocking Tyler Zeller to the floor and then made two free throws for a five-point lead.
"I don't have too many of those left in me," DeRozan said of the hard hit. "I kind of anticipated that."
Terrence Ross hit a 3-pointer with 3:02 remaining to put Toronto ahead 90-89. DeRozan dunked on a baseline drive and added two free throws to give the Raptors a 94-91 lead with 1:23 remaining.
Kyrie Irving, who played 45 minutes and the entire second half because of Cleveland's depleted roster, scored 25 points and had nine assists. Cleveland has lost three straight after winning six in a row and fell 5 ½ games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Irving had no problem with coach Mike Brown's decision to leave him in the game.
"I told Coach I'm willing to do whatever it takes for us to get a win," Irving said after playing a career high in a 48-minute game.
The Cavaliers again played without center Anderson Varejao (sore back) and guards Dion Waiters (hyperextended left knee) and C.J. Miles (sprained left ankle).
Ross scored 19 points while Greivis Vasquez added 15 for the Raptors, who beat the Cavaliers 98-91 in Toronto on Friday and have won three in a row. Toronto leads the Atlantic Division and is in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Hawes, making his first start for Cleveland since being acquired from Philadelphia last week, scored 15 points.
Cleveland took its last lead at 89-87 with 3:11 to play on Zeller's two free throws, but Ross' 3-pointer put Toronto ahead for good.
Irving, the MVP of the All-Star game, was called for charging into Kyle Lowry in the final minute. The call was upheld after officials viewed a replay. Irving was bumped on his way to the basket on Cleveland's next possession but no call was made.