After looking locked in against the leagues best team in the first half, the Raptors quickly gave away their 11-point advantage in a third quarter that saw them outscored 33-16.
San Antonio used a 15-4 run over the span of the quarter's first five minutes to erase the deficit and ended the frame on a 16-4 run to seize control. Stretches of solid play from Toronto, just not the full 48-minute effort needed against a potent team like the Spurs.
Spurs forward Dujuan Blair was instrumental in that third-quarter surge, providing a huge boost with energy and easy buckets in the paint. Blair posted 12 points and four rebounds in the frame on his way to 22 points and 11 rebounds.
“DeJuan, he was worrying too much about being perfect; about where to be on the court instead of just competing and playing," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. "I thought in the third quarter, he just went out and had fun and played basketball and did a great job for us."
Make it back-to-back big scoring efforts from DeMar DeRozan, who put up 20 in the first half and went on to finish with 28 points (10-19 FGM-A), three rebounds and four steals.
He's been attacking the rim with renewed enthusiasm of late and more importantly, getting rewarded with trips to the free throw line. He's had nine trips to the stripe in each of his last two games, the most attempts he's had since Jan. 2 against the Celtics, when he took eight free throws on his way to 28 points.
"I thought for the fist half; take away the 10-0 run to start the game. We battled back and we did a nice job and held the lead at halftime, but we knew they were going to come out. I don’t even know if it was our inability to stop them as mush as our inability to score as the game went on. We just had a hard time scoring. We became one dimensional. DeMar (DeRozan) was the only one to score for us."
- Jay Triano, on how the game unfolded
Fri., Jan. 21 @ Orlando
7:00 PM ET, TSN, FAN590
The road trip doesn't get any easier as the Raptors begin a back-to-back in Florida against the Magic. The Raps already have one win in Orlando -- a 110-106 win on Nov. 12. The Magic, who have added Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson plus the return of Hedo Turkoglu, are coming off a big 99-98 OT win over the Sixers.
|23||Raptors points off 17 Spurs turnovers|
|58-48||Points in the paint totals favouring San Antonio|
|49-38||Rebounding edge for the Spurs|
|22||Fast break points for beach each team|
|10-37||Shooting for Andrea Bargnani in his last two games|
|"My teammates passed me the ball in the right moments. They gave me some great balls. It was just me not making the shots. I was just playing bad."|
- Andrea Bargnani, on his recent shooting woes
|"People started paying attention and taking some pride in individual and team “D” and those stops generated offense and that was the ball game."|
- Spurs head coach Gregg Poppovich on the second half
|"It was like back in high school. They were sending doubles and everything. It’s just tough. I had a few turnovers that really hurt us and that’s what made it even worse."|
- DeMar DeRozan, on the second-half defence