TORONTO — LeBron James and the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers absorbed their most-lopsided loss of the season when they were routed by the Toronto Raptors 133-99 on Thursday night.
The Cavaliers have dropped six of eight dating to a Christmas Day defeat at defending champion Golden State. James scored 26 points in this loss while Isaiah Thomas missed his first 11 shots.
After losing to Minnesota 127-99 on Monday, the Cavaliers fell by an even bigger margin. Toronto’s 133 points were the most by any Cavaliers opponent this season, and marked the third straight game that Cleveland has allowed at least 127.
Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 22 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and a season-high 18 rebounds and the Raptors overcame the absences of two starters.
C.J.Miles scored 16 points, Pascal Siakam and Norm Powell each had 14 and DeMar DeRozan 13 for the Raptors, who were without point guard Kyle Lowry (bruised tailbone) and forward Serge Ibaka (suspension). Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors.
VanVleet made six of eight 3-point attempts as the Raptors connected on a season-high 18 shots from beyond the arc.
Toronto’s 12-game home winning streak was snapped in Tuesday’s loss to Miami, but the Raptors bounced back in their first meeting with Cleveland since the Cavaliers swept the Raptors out of the second round of the playoffs last May.
Thomas connecting on a short jumper at 7:22 of the third quarter for his first basket. He finished 2 for 15 and went 0 for 6 from 3-point range. Playing for the fourth time this season as he returns from a right hip injury, Thomas scored four points in 24 minutes.
Lowry missed his second straight game after he was injured in a heavy fall in overtime of Monday’s win at Brooklyn. Lowry participated in shootaround Thursday morning but is still too sore to play.
Ibaka served a one-game suspension for throwing a punch at Miami’s James Johnson in Tuesday’s home loss to the Heat.
Leading 30-24 after one quarter, the Raptors extended their lead in the second thanks to their bench. Siakam scored 10 points and VanVleet had eight as Toronto led 65-40 at halftime.
Cleveland missed all seven of their 3-point shots in the first half.
DeRozan scored 11 points in the third and Toronto took a 100-72 lead into the fourth.