Break time is over

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

The last Brazilian who cost the Raptors a game at the Air Canada Centre went by the nickname of Hoffa and now plays for the Utah Jazz.

This time, however, it was a Brazilian on the other team who did-in the host Raptors.

Centre Anderson Varejao, starting for the absent Zydrunas Ilgauskas, stole the spotlight from his more famous teammate, LeBron James, by scoring 16 points while adding 15 rebounds, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a wild 86-85 win last night.

In the first game back from the all-star break, the Raptors came out flat, dropping to 29-25 on the season, and head coach Sam Mitchell was, to say the least, unimpressed -- particularly with the way his team rebounded and shared the ball. In the first half, the Raptors managed a mere four assists.

"I didn't recognize who we were at the start of the game," Mitchell said. "We didn't move the basketball well, we didn't box out or rebound and we didn't shoot the ball well -- all the things we take pride in."

Varejao was huge, especially late in the game. With Cleveland down by one and 16 seconds on the clock, the Cavaliers' Sasha Pavlovic missed on a baseline three-pointer, but Varejao found a lane and slammed home the put-back to give Cleveland the 86-85 lead, which they never gave up.

Toronto's Chris Bosh, who was guarding Varejao, blamed himself for allowing the Brazilian to get to the basket.

"I took my eye off him for a second, I was concentrating more on the ball rather than put a body on him. That's my fault," Bosh said. "I'll be a man and take responsibility.

"(Varejao) was the major difference. He missed only one shot, he played a great game."

On the next play, Raptors point guard T.J. Ford dribbled toward the basket and missed on a wild hook shot, setting up a jump ball with 6.6 on the clock. Bosh won the tip but the ball dribbled down the court and Ford recovered it with two seconds left. Parker inbounded to Morris Peterson, who spun around and launched a 23-footer for the win, but missed.

"The shot felt good, I thought it was going to fall," Peterson said. "I got the look I wanted, it just didn't fall."

Mitchell was pleased with the way his club handled James, who managed 29 points but only four rebounds and two assists, but not the way they allowed Varejao to rule the boards.

"He just kicked our butts," the coach said.

"That was the difference in the game. We didn't put a body on him and he just beat us up."


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