On his return, Siakam scores 18 points and helps the Raptors beat the Cavaliers

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Pascal Siakam wasted no time showing what the Toronto Raptors had to do without.

Returning after a 10-game absence, Siakam scored the Raptors’ first points and finished the night with 18 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Toronto squad to a 100-88 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

This performance earned him praise from teammate Scottie Barnes.

“It’s great that Pascal is back on the court. You see him doing incredible things, shooting baskets at a higher level, being efficient, rebounding, etc. All the things he brings to the game, it’s amazing to see,” Barnes marveled.

« Watching Pascal play is like, ‘wow, damn it. Every move he makes, the step backs, the spins, the double spins, you know it’s coming, but still, it hits. It’s great to have him back on the pitch. »

OG Anunoby scored 20 points, Gary Trent Jr. 14, Fred VanVleet 13, Barnes 11 and Thaddeus Young 10 for the Raptors (11-9), who benefited from a diverse offense.

Evan Mobley had 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers (13-8) while Darius Garland added 18 points.

Siakam’s injury was a blow after his blistering start to the season. Siakam had averaged 24.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game before being injured in the Nov. 4 matchup in Dallas against the Mavericks.

The Raptors went 5-5 while he was sidelined with an adductor injury.

The 28-year-old picked up where he left off on his comeback, registering eight points and four rebounds in his first time on the court, which lasted seven and a half minutes.

“He was really good. It really looked like he hadn’t missed a game, didn’t it? » Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “He was really confident going to his predicted spots and made some tough shots in the first half especially. But I especially liked the way he played on both sides.

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