NBA wrap: Cavaliers beat Raptors for ninth win in 10 games

The Cavaliers, who stumbled through the middle of the season, are peaking at the right time with the playoffs just 10 days away.

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (left) drives past Toronto Raptors' OG Anunoby during an NBA game.   -  AP

Remember a couple of months back, when the Cavaliers was mired in a 7-13 slump, and desperate fans were asking, "What's wrong with the Cavs?"

Now, with the playoffs just around the corner, look who has won nine of 10 and seems to be peaking at just the right time.

Of course, the Cavaliers that beat the first-place Raptors 112-106 on Tuesday night in Cleveland aren't the same Cavs that stumbled through December and January. The team executed three stunning trade-deadline deals that revamped almost half the roster.

Read: LeBron James breaks Michael Jordan's double-digit record

The new and improved Cavs (48-30, third in the East) still feature the same nucleus, namely LeBron James (27 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists against the Raptors) and Kevin Love (18 points, 15 rebounds) but newcomers are filling key roles. Guard Rodney Hood, acquired from the Jazz at the deadline, put up 17 points on Tuesday. Point guard Jose Calderon, signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, has been playing a lot more minutes in recent weeks and scored 19 against the Raptors.

It's taken most of the season for the Cavaliers to find their chemistry, but the rest of the league is warily watching as Cleveland eyes its fourth-straight NBA Finals appearance.

Vegas is watching, too — VegasInsider.com lists the Cavaliers at 6/1 odds to win the NBA Championship, behind only the Warriors (5/4) and Rockets (7/4). The Raptors (55-22) are fourth, at 10/1.

STUDS OF THE NIGHT

J.J. Redick scored 19 points and Ben Simmons added 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Sixers to their 11th straight win.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic came up big in a 107-104 win over the Pacers, with 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

DUD OF THE NIGHT

John Wall had almost as many turnovers (8) as points (9) and a terrible minus-18 rating in an ugly 120-104 loss to the Rockets. The Wizards guard, who returned to action Saturday after being sidelined since Jan. 25, hit 3 of 10 from the floor.

HIGHLIGHT

Dennis Smith Jr. looks like he's participating in the NBA Slam Dunk competition as he bounces an alley-oop to himself.

WHAT'S NEXT

Celtics (53-24) at Raptors (55-22) — The Celtics is two games behind Toronto for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. It's surprising the Celtics is even in this position, given the rash of injuries to stars, including Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Both teams are coming off losses on Tuesday.