Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 3 tank wins in 2018-19 season

(Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images) /

3. Toronto Raptors (Dec. 1)

The final score wasn’t indicative of the Cavaliers’ overall performance against the team with the best record in the NBA. The Cavs lost to the Raptors 106-95, but were only outscored by four points in the second half.

Cleveland performed well as a collective unit. Six players scored in double figures, all of them building pieces. Tristan Thompson dominated with 18 points and 19 rebounds, the first of three times he’d collect that many boards in December’s first 10 days.

Plus, the Raptors played well, shooting 48.8 percent from the field and being buoyed by Kawhi Leonard‘s 34 points. Yet Cleveland was unselfish, hanging with Toronto in the second half. The loss reflected what the Cavs can do when their eclectic mix of talent shares the ball effectively.

In this clip, Cleveland pushes the pace. It started with Thompson, the rebounding artist, making the quick outlet pass to the zippy Collin Sexton. Larry Nance Jr. punctuates the play with a layup. Each player utilized a strength to complete a well-executed fast break.

Cleveland did that throughout the night, hanging with the best of the East. The Cavs lost, but gained confidence through playing well in a good “tank win.” With that momentum, Cleveland actually won two games the following week.