Game Rap: Raptors 106, Spurs 108
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
LaMarcus Aldridge hit one of two free throws with 5.1 seconds remaining to put the Spurs ahead by two. Lucas Nogueira secured the rebound with 3.9 seconds remaining and a Norman Powell three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark as San Antonio secured a 108-106 victory against the Toronto Raptors.
Lucas Nogueira returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games because of the NBA concussion protocol following an inadvertent shot to the head in Toronto’s victory against the Brooklyn Nets last Wednesday.
NEXT MAN UP
The Raptors knew they would be without DeMar DeRozan heading into Tuesday’s game. On Monday afternoon, the team announced that he would be sidelined for the next two games with an ankle sprain. Toronto wasn’t the only team playing undermanned, as Tony Parker (left foot pain), Pau Gasol (fractured left fourth metatarsal), Jonathon Simmons (wrist) and Kawhi Leonard (sore left hand) all sat for the Spurs. The Raptors had some good news with the return of Patrick Patterson to the lineup after missing 10 of the previous 12 games with a sore knee.
NEW-LOOK STARTING FIVE
Norman Powell started in place of the injured DeMar DeRozan, while Jared Sullinger earned his first start of the season at the power forward position. Sullinger and Powell joined Kyle Lowry, DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas as Toronto’s starting five.
The Raptors got off to another slow start on Tuesday, allowing San Antonio to shoot 52 percent in the opening quarter. The Spurs led 29-25 after the first, with David Lee’s eight points leading the way while Kyle Lowry’s 11-point quarter keptToronto close. The defence didn’t get any better in the second quarter, as the Spurs shot 58 percent, making 11-of-19 field goals. Patrick Patterson provided a big boost for Toronto off the bench with nine points in the quarter to help Toronto trim a 13-point San Antonio lead to seven at the halftime break.
The tide seemed to turn after halftime, with Toronto holding San Antonio to 26 percent shooting in the third while making 59 percent of their own field goals. The Raptors outscored San Antonio 25-18 behind Cory Joseph’s eight points on a perfect 4-for-4 field goals in the quarter to go into the fourth with the score knotted at 79 points apiece.
With the scored tied to start the fourth, the final quarter was a seesaw between the two teams with eight lead changes and three ties. Toronto shot 40 percent while the Spurs made 45 percent of their field goals. The Raptors had opportunities to take the lead down the stretch but missed a number of layups and open three-point looks. They had an opportunity with a final field goal attempt at the buzzer, but ultimately could not overcome a balanced Spurs attack.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Terrence Ross scored 21 points off the bench to lead the reserves in scoring. He played 30 minutes and shot 6-for-10 from the floor, including 3-for-7 from beyond the arc and 6-for-8 from the free throw line. Ross was extremely aggressive on both ends of the floor, actively looking for his shot while also playing solid defence as he also contributed a rebound, a steal and two blocks shots.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Patrick Patterson had a solid return to the court after missing 10 of the previous 12 games because of a sore knee. Patterson played 21 minutes against the Spurs, scoring 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. He shot 2-for-3 from beyond the arc and added four rebounds and an assist in his return. Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 30 points on 9-for-23 field goals, including 11-for-12 from the free throw line. Lowry added five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in 40 minutes.
THAT'S A RAP…
“I thought the simple plays, layups, easy plays, they get a run-out on a jump-ball situation — we always tell our guys get a foot behind the guy next to you, just the simple fundamental things that happen to you that an experienced team takes advantage of. I thought our team competed their behinds off in the second half. I was really proud. But it comes back to the little things. It’s not the 3-point shots, fancy plays. It’s fundamentals, box outs, free-throws, layups, tonight in the second half.”
- Dwane Casey summing up a close game
BY THE #’S
46…Rebounds for the Raptors, 35 for the Spurs. The Raptors also held a 10-6 edge on the offensive glass.
14…Second chance points for the Spurs, eight for the Raptors.
20…Assists for San Antonio, just 10 for Toronto.
45…Percent shooting from Toronto, 45 percent shooting from San Antonio
THEY SAID IT…
“It felt good to be out there. Staying on the sidelines watching, being in the training room watching, for me to finally be out there, it felt good.”
- Patrick Patterson on his return to the court
“In the first half, we played with that compete level, but I just think we picked it up in the second. We played a lot tougher, a lot harder, a lot more physical on the defensive end.”
- Norman Powell on Toronto’s strong second half
“Of course it's definitely less with an All-Star starter being out, it's always a little bit more difficult to win games. But Norm stepped up tonight and played well, Terrence played well. Everyone's going to step [up]. We have another tough task tomorrow and we've got to live without him for another game.”
- Kyle Lowry on the team having less of a margin for error when playing without DeMar DeRozan
- Dwane Casey on Patrick Patterson bringing stability and cohesion when he's on the floor
The Raptors will fly to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies at 8 PM. on Wednesday night.