National Basketball Association wrap: LeBron James rips own team as Raptors thrashes Cavs

Five Keys Cavaliers at Raptors   
  Ron Turenne  NBAE  Getty Images

Five Keys Cavaliers at Raptors Ron Turenne NBAE Getty Images

It is easy to understand why James was livid as the Cavs lost for the seventh time in their last 10 games.

After the Boston Celtics beat the Phildelphia 76ers in the NBA London game, Kyrie Irving liked a viral video of LeBron James lighting up his Cleveland Cavaliers team during a huddle.

Siakam also got James to commit his only personal foul of the game as the Raptors backed him down into the post with six seconds left in the third quarter, causing the ACC to erupt in cheers.

"We've all got to be accountable for actions, accountable for how we play, how hard we play, what we're doing for one another", James told reporters after the game.

The Raptors are now 2.5 games ahead of the Cavaliers at the midway point of the season. "We can't play around on the court". Kawhi Leonard is back on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, and this might be something that the Spurs have to deal with for the rest of the season.

James and Tristan Thompson managed to hit on 9-of-15 from the field in the first half, combining for 21 of the Cavs' 40 points.

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Miles shooting the ball well and turning in what might have been his most complete peformance as a Raptor so far was a good sign, as was Norman Powell looking a little bit looser.

After the team's shootaround earlier in the day, James had spoken about the inconsistency the team has shown during the course of the regular season. "I'm sure the next time we play them, they are going to remember this game". They just can't seem to find any consistency to their game and trade rumors could start up before the deadline on February 8. They are 23-3 when they score at least 105 points.

"I mean, I would hope not", James said. Does he "like" seeing his former team in disarray, or does he "like" seeing his former teammate stepping up as a leader to get his team back in order?

"The way we've been playing, we don't have to remind [the players] of anything", Lue said with a laugh. "We know that. But until we play better defensively, I think offensively sharing the basketball, everyone on the same page - and if guys have agendas, we've got to get rid of our agendas and play the right way". He finished 2-for-15 and went 0-for-6 from 3-point range. He was supposed to give this team a boost and help them become a championship contender. In their place has emerged a far more egalitarian system, created to make Toronto far less predictable when it enters the crucible of the NBA's postseason.

It was the first meeting between the two since the Cavaliers easily swept the Raptors out of the Eastern Conference semif-inals last May. It makes them more risky.

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