(SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James has the Cleveland Cavaliers playing their best basketball of the season, but they'll face a stiff test Friday night when they visit the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
The Cavaliers have won a season-high five in a row and this run came after a four-game losing streak. Most buried the Cavs after that skid, but Cleveland swept a four-game homestand, then knocked off the New York Knicks, 90-87, Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
James wasn't the star on Thursday. That honor belonged to fellow All-Star and Big Three member, Kyrie Irving.
His season-high 37 points and two timely James baskets helped the Cavaliers avenge an opening-night loss to the Knicks.
The Cavaliers trailed for most of the second half, but James scored five straight points late in the fourth to put them back in front. Irving's lefty scoop layup over two defenders with 10 seconds left made it 90-87.
The Knicks went to a Carmelo Anthony isolation on the game's final possession. Anthony shook James and shot a 3 from the right wing, but it was just off the mark. Iman Shumpert tipped the rebound out to Jose Calderon, who hit a 3 a full second after the final buzzer.
Irving hit 12-of-18 from the floor and made 10 of his 11 free throw attempts for Cleveland. James gave 19 points and 12 assists, and Kevin Love posted 11 points and 11 boards.
"(LeBron) did a heck of a job finding me," Irving said. "Everybody kept feeding me. I felt like I was in a great rhythm tonight."
The Cavs held the Knicks to 14 fourth-quarter points, limited star Carmelo Anthony to nine points on 4-for-19 shooting, and forced 22 New York turnovers.
Now that the Cavaliers avenged that ugly opening-night loss, the night piece of vengeance can come at the hands of the Raptors. Toronto handed Cleveland its last loss, a 110-93 drubbing at Quicken Loans Arena on Nov. 22.
Since that win over the Cavs, the Raptors are 4-2, including a 2-1 western road trip. However, Toronto lost All-Star DeMar DeRozan to a torn tendon in his groin.
The Raptors made due without him on Wednesday night with a 123-104 rout of the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. Toronto ambushed the Jazz with 69 points in the first half.
Kyle Lowry scored a career-high 39 points to lead Toronto. Lowry was 13-of-22 from the field and hit four shots from beyond the arc. Lowry finished strong with 15 of Toronto's 26 points in the final period.
Toronto as a team shot 57 percent from the field and made 12-of-21 3-point attempts. In addition, Toronto sank 21-of-24 free throws, led by Lowry hitting all nine of his attempts. With less than a minute left, he sunk three from the charity stripe after being fouled attempting a 3-pointer.
"I'm just going out there and doing my job. I know I need to score a little bit more and be a little more aggressive. I can do it with DeMar (DeRozan)," said Lowry. "But as a point guard, I like to get my teammates involved. Right now I need to be a little more assertive."
Lou Williams and Greivis Vasquez each scored 17 for Toronto. Patrick Patterson and Amir Johnson finished with 13 and Terrence Ross added 11.
The Raptors have won four of five against the Cavaliers and two in a row at home in this series. Toronto owns the best home record in the Eastern Conference at 9-2.