Game Rap: Raptors 99, Grizzlies 101
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
a running three from Kyle Lowry at the buzzer was off the mark. After trailing by 10 points with 4:34 remaining, Lowry helped put the Raptors in a position to win, but Memphis collected a 101-99 victory behind a 42-point effort from Marc Gasol. The loss was Toronto’s fifth straight.
WEATHERING THE STORM
The Raptors were at a loss trying to slow Marc Gasol early as the Grizzlies big man scored 16 quick points in the first three minutes of the game. Toronto kept pushing though, and managed to bounce back from a 10-point deficit in the first quarter to lead by two after the opening 12 minutes. Toronto allowed the Grizzlies to shoot a ridiculous 63 percent in the first quarter, but the defence stepped up in the second for both teams and the Raps held the Grizzlies to 24 points on 44 percent shooting in the quarter. Toronto led 57-56 at the half behind a 14-point effort from Norman Powell and nine points apiece from Kyle Lowry, DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph.
FADING IN THE THIRD
The two teams exchanged leads for much of the third. With the score tied at 70 and 5:23 remaining in the quarter, the Raptors went cold from the floor and the Grizzlies closed the third on a 17-7 run to take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. After a 19-point first quarter, Marc Gasol had 13 in the third to lead the way for the Grizzlies. Through three quarters, Gasol had 36 points on 13-for-21 field goals.
ANOTHER TOUGH FINISH
Like the third quarter against the Spurs the night before, the Raptors stepped up defensive efforts in the fourth, holding the Grizzlies to 26 percent shooting. It was nearly enough to allow a comeback, too, with a four-point play by Kyle Lowry bringing the Raptors within two with 2:18 remaining. Lowry followed that up with a jumper to tie the game with 1:31 remaining, but free throws from Marc Gasol put the Grizzlies ahead by two with 36.2 seconds on the clock. Toronto would have two opportunities to score and take the lead, but the Raptors were unable to complete the comeback on the road.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry scored a team-high 29 points in 40 minutes of action. He shot 11-for-21 from the floor, 4-for-10 from beyond the arc and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds, a game-high eight assists, along with a steal and a blocked shot.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Norman Powell started his second game in place of the injured DeMar DeRozan, scoring 21 points in 33 minutes. Powell shot 9-for-21, while making two of four attempts from beyond the arc. He added five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
THAT'S A RAP…
“I thought down the stretch our guys dug in, got stops, did what they had to do. It’s a long year. Guys have to stay together, stay positive. I didn’t feel any quit whatsoever from our group and that’s important. We’ve got to stick together. Like I told them, your true fans, everybody will still be behind you. Just stay together and grind it out. We’re going through a grind time but we will be stronger after this, coming out of this.”
- Dwane Casey on a tough loss, and stretch, for his team
BY THE #’S
46…Percent shooting for the Grizzlies, 42 percent for the Raptors.
19…Free throws for the Raptors, who made just 11 (58 percent) compared with Memphis who attempted 25 free throws, making 19 (76 percent).
23…Second chance points for Toronto compared to just seven for the Grizzlies.
42…Points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and two blocked shots for Marc Gasol in 38 minutes. Gaol shot 14-for-25 from the floor, 5-for-10 from beyond the arc and 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
THEY SAID IT…
“It was supposed to be a mid pick-and-roll, we ran it before, Marc [Gasol] kind of jumped out, 5.6 seconds, I got the shot I wanted. I wish I would have been more on balance, but I barely missed it. I thought it was going in, to be honest, when it left my hands. I should have cleared JV out and just went straight at Tony Allen, and instead of shooting over Marc and Tony, just shooting over Tony.”
- Kyle Lowry on the final possession of the game
“Just got to lock in and focus in on the first three quarters. We can’t wait till we get knocked on our heels to start playing hard, playing with intensity, scrambling and trusting each other. It’s got to go for the full 48 minutes from the jump ball to the last buzzer. That’s the biggest thing. We’re putting it together in spurts. Now it’s figuring out how to do it for a full game.”
- Norman Powell on how to improve things defensively
“I love our competitive spirit down the stretch, just like last night, but we’ve got to extend that. We’ve got to do that earlier in the game. We’ve got to come out and put our foot down. Our next bugaboo is our shooters have to continue to shoot the ball. Right now they’re not going in and I think we’re carrying some of that on the defensive end. I have to do a better job of getting them better looks or whatever it is, but we can’t carry some of our offensive woes to the defensive end. The shots are going to fall. Guys are going through this. Our team is going through it right now. We shot 29 percent tonight, we’re a better three-point shooting team than that. We can't take our offensive lack of energy down to the defensive end and I think that’s what happened in the first half.”
- Dwane Casey on defensive woes and needing to to play a full 48 minutes
The Raptors will take on the Milwaukee Bucks at the Air Canada Centre on Friday at 7:30 P.M. ET.