Game Rap: Raptors 108, Pelicans 106
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Kyle Lowry drilled a 21-foot step back jumper with 4.3 seconds remaining to break a tie and put the Raptors ahead by two. E’twain Moore missed a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining and the Raptors collected a hard-fought 108-106 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in overtime.
During Dwane Casey’s pre-game media availability he announced that the team expects to be without DeMar DeRozan for the next two games. That meant DeRozan would sit for Tuesday’s game against the Pelicans as well as Wednesday’s back-to-back against the Boston Celtics. DeRozan missed three games with a sprained ankle before returning in Toronto’s Sunday loss against the Orlando Magic.
SEARCHING FOR DEFENCE
For the second consecutive game, the Raptors gave up a 60-point first half. Tuesday’s game kicked off with the Pelicans hitting 5-of-8 three-pointers in the first quarter to take a slight 25-23 lead after the opening 12 minutes. Things went downhill for Toronto in the second when the Raptors were outscored 35-23 by the Pelicans as New Orleans shot 59 percent from the floor to Toronto’s 44 percent shooting. Behind the strong second quarter, the Pelicans took a 60-46 lead into the half as they were led by Jrue Holiday’s 19 points as well as 11 points from rookie Bobby Hield. Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors with 14 points and seven boards as Toronto held Anthony Davis to just eight points on 1-for-7 field goals in the half.
THIRD-QUARTER SWITCH UP
Toronto came out of the halftime break on a tear, opening the third quarter on a 26-9 run to turn a 14-point deficit into a four-point lead. Norman Powell led the way for the Raptors, scoring 12 points in the quarter, highlighted by two dunks, including one over Anthony Davis that got the entire arena — and the Raptors bench — on their feet. Toronto shot 52 percent in the quarter while the Pelicans connected on 30 percent of their field goals, finally slowing down from beyond the arc. Toronto took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Raptors opened the fourth with a 77-75 lead and a three-pointer from Terrence Ross stretched the lead to five points. From there, the rest of the fourth was a back-and-forth battle, with neither team leading by more than three points. A bucket from Patrick Patterson tied the game at 96 with 2:08 remaining in regulation and neither team would score again as the game went into overtime. E’Twuan Moore scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth, where he was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc to help New Orleans keep the pace with Toronto. Kyle Lowry scored 10 points in the fourth to lead Toronto.
In the extra session, Kyle Lowry scored seven of Toronto’s 12 points, including the three-pointer that put the team up four and then the jumper that sealed the victory with 4.3 seconds remaining.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 33 points on 11-for-21 field goals. He shot 6-for-14 from three and 5-for-7 from the free throw line. Lowry played 45 minutes adding four rebounds and 10 assists to his statline. He scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half and overtime.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Norman Powell had another big night stepping in for the injured DeMar DeRozan. Starting alongside Kyle Lowry in the backcourt, Powell scored 18 points on 8-for-15 field goals while adding four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots. He had a 12-point third quarter as Toronto made its comeback and he played solid defence down the stretch on Jrue Holiday.
THAT'S A RAP…
“He gets hit more than any all-star that I’ve been around. He hits the floor, he’s going into the stands, gets knocked down going to the basket. Again, he’s a tough guy, he’s a Philly kid and he’s going to bounce up. He probably should have been a running back for the Eagles, they could probably use him a little bit. He’s one of the toughest kids I’ve been around."
- Dwane Casey on another big game from Kyle Lowry
BY THE #’S
46…Percent shooting for the Raptors, 43 percent shooting for the Pelicans.
52…Points in the paint for Toronto compared with 44 for New Orleans.
53…Rebounds for Toronto, 47 for New Orleans. Jonas Valanciunas had a 20-point, 12-rebound double double for the Raptors.
21…Patrick Patterson was a +21 in a two-point victory.
THEY SAID IT…
“I think it was really big. I think it shows how we can play. Coming out of half, DC, the energy that he brought, the energy I brought on defence, Kyle, Lucas, JV, Pat, that’s the way we need to play. Now we just need to carry that over into the game tomorrow and focus on locking that in for the start of the first half, not just the second.”
- Norman Powell on getting a win in a rough stretch
“It's improvements. We made our stride in the right direction, we still have a long way to go, but overall, defensive-wise, in the second half, we got stops when we needed to down the stretch. It's an improvement.”
- Patrick Patterson on a solid second half effort defensively
“We really need it, it wasn’t beautiful, it wasn’t pretty but I thought the second half we took the challenge. Defensively on Holiday, I thought Jonas did an excellent job in the second half of rim protection. Obviously a couple of old-school NBA fouls going to the rim were huge for him. I thought all of our guys took the challenge. I thought Norm [Powell] took the challenge on [Jrue] Holiday, DC [DeMarre Carroll] on his matchup, and he got three huge stops down the stretch.”
- Dwane Casey on grinding out a tough overtime win
The Raptors will fly to Boston Tuesday night in preparation for Wednesday’s back-to-back against the Celtics at 7:30 P.M. ET.