Game Rap: Raptors 115, Clippers 123
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Chris Paul completed a three-point play with 1:54 remaining to put the Clippers ahead by 12 points. Although the Raptors put up a strong fight throughout the final quarter, getting within four points at the midway point, a balanced scoring attack from Los Angeles was too much to handle and Toronto dropped a 123-115 decision.
SHAKING IT OFF
After a disappointing finishing in Sacramento where Terrence Ross’ game-tying three-pointer was waived off because the game clock started late on the final possession, it was onto Los Angeles to face the Clippers. In a road trip with five games over eight days there isn’t time to worry about what happened yesterday. Despite tired legs, the Raptors put forth their best effort in L.A., but ultimately fell short to the team with the best record (13-2) in the NBA.
HANGING AROUND IN THE FIRST
Although the Clippers had more bounce to start the game, the Raptors were able to keep it within single digits at the half, thanks to 10 points apiece from Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Los Angeles led 54-45 at the break with Jamal Crawford’s 12 points leading the way.
UNABLE TO CLOSE THE GAP
A 13-point third quarter from DeRozan helped the Raptors trim a 17-point Clippers lead to nine going into the fourth. In the final frame, the Raptors got within four points, but couldn’t complete the comeback. Although Toronto outscored the Clippers 36-35 in the quarter, Los Angeles shot 64 percent and the Raptors couldn’t get enough stops down the stretch.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 27 points in 42 minutes of action. Lowry shot 8-for-18 from the floor, 3-for-7 from beyond the arc and 8-for-9 from the free throw line. He added six rebounds and seven assists in a gutsy performance on the second night of a back-to-back.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
For the second consecutive game, Patrick Patterson came off the bench to make a big difference on both ends of the floor in his 36 minutes. On Monday he scored 14 points on 4-for-8 shooting, including 3-for-6 from deep. He added six rebounds, two assists and two steals. After struggling to find his shot to start the season, things are beginning to fall into place for Patterson on the offensive end of the floor.
THAT'S A RAP…
“We’re a lot better than that. One thing for sure: We’re going to turn it around. It just sucks when you lose this way. Like you said, we have one of the toughest schedules [right now], but that’s no excuse, we’ve got to use that to our motivation and be better.”
- DeMar DeRozan on playing through a rough stretch in the schedule
BY THE #’S
123…Points for the Clippers, marking the eighth straight game Toronto has given up 100+ points.
42…Rebounds for Los Angeles, 32 for Toronto.
53…Percent shooting for the Clippers, 50 percent for the Raptors.
26…Points, 12 assists, three rebounds, two steals for Chris Paul, 26 points, seven assists, seven rebounds, one steal and one block for Blake Griffin.
THEY SAID IT…
- Dwane Casey on defence needing to be the focus moving forward
“We can be a lot louder. You can always talk more than what you’re doing. We can definitely talk more.”
- Patrick Patterson on needing to talk more on the defensive end of the floor
“I wouldn’t make no excuse to it. At the end of the day, if it’s a tough schedule, we’ve got to learn from it. The best way to learn from it, going against teams like this, understanding we’re right there with them. We’ve got to understand how to close out each quarter, try to win the last three, four minutes of each quarter and go from there with it. It’s going to come. Once it comes, once we hit that stride, understanding what we need to do defensively from the jump ball to the last second on the court, we’ll be fine.”
- DeMar DeRozan on going through a tough stretch in the season
“I liked our team’s heart tonight. We scraped and fought. We could have came in and laid down and we did not do that. That means something in this league after what we went through last night and everyone asking questions about last night. This is the best team in the league and we put ourselves in a position to win, but there’s no consolation prize.”
- Dwane Casey on his team’s approach after a tough loss the night before
The Raptors head to Houston to take on the Rockets on Wednesday at 8 P.M. ET.