Game Rap: Raptors 115, Rockets 102
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Patrick Patterson stole a James Harden pass and Kyle Lowry found DeMarre Carroll for a dunk to put the Raptors ahead by 12 with 1:31 remaining. Thanks to an impressive effort on defence and a season-high 20 points from Carroll, the Raptors collected a 115-102 victory against the Rockets. It was Toronto’s first win in Houston since the 2006-2007 season.
DOING IT WITH DEFENCE
Although the Raptors did not hold the Rockets to less than 100 points, they did keep them to 45 percent shooting. The Rockets came into the game averaging 108.4 points per game, and Toronto managed to shave nearly six points off that average thanks to extremely active defence throughout the game.
SOLID SECOND QUARTER
The second quarter has been a struggle for the Raptors in recent games. After getting off to an okay start, Toronto often finds its opponent building a lead in the second quarter. This wasn’t the case on Wednesday as the Raptors outscored the Rockets 30-19 in the second quarter to take a 54-39 lead into the half.
ALL DEROZAN IN THE THIRD
The Raptors just narrowly edged out the Rockets in the third quarter, outscoring Houston 36-35 to take a 90-74 lead into the fourth. DeMar DeRozan was brilliant in the quarter, scoring 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMarre Carroll had his best game of the season in Houston. After sitting against the Clippers in the back-end of a back-to-back, Carroll’s fresh legs led to a season-high 20-point performance against the Rockets, as he shot 9-for-14 from the floor, 2-for-5 from the three-point line, and added three rebounds, two assists, four steals and three blocked shots in a well-rounded effort on both ends of the floor. Carroll scored nine points in the fourth as the Raptors held off a late push from the Rockets.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas had a fantastic effort on Wednesday as he recorded a 15-point, 16-rebound double-double in 31 minutes. Valanciunas shot 6-for-10 from the floor, 3-for-4 from the free throw line, and added two assists and a blocked shot. The Raptors were a +17 when Valanciunas was on the floor as the Rockets didn’t have an answer for him.
THAT'S A RAP…
“That’s the way we have to play. We’ve got to have a presentation like that each night. If not, this league is just too tough, if you come out and let people be comfortable.”
- Dwane Casey on the importance of leading with defence
BY THE #’S
52…Percent shooting from beyond the arc for the Raptors (12-for-23), compared to the Rockets who connected on just 33 percent of their attempts from deep (14-for-42).
15…Offensive rebounds for the Raptors, 11 for the Rockets. Valanciunas led the way with five offensive rebounds.
16…Assists from DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry who each recorded nine assists in the game.
14…Turnovers for the Raptors, leading to 12 points for the Rockets. Houston could not stop turning the ball over, committing a season-high 28 miscues leading to 33 points for Toronto.
THEY SAID IT…
- DeMar DeRozan on the team’s defensive approach
“We needed his defensive presence. I thought his disposition was solid. He played off Kyle and DeMar. They were sending double teams off him, they were cheating off he and [Pascal] Siakam and he did a good job of finding the weak side and finding the opening. DeMar and Kyle had nine assists apiece and I thought that was big-time. Finding guys like DeMarre and guys going to the bucket.”
- Dwane Casey
“I’m just getting my rhythm. I ain’t played no basketball the whole summer so it was a matter of training camp and straight [into the] season. I knew it was going to come. It might not have come as fast as the fans may have wanted or some other people may wanted, but I’m just trusting the process, man, just trying to keep getting better and helping this team. Some nights I’m going to have big scoring nights, but most nights I’m going to help on the defensive end.”
- DeMarre Carroll on starting to get his legs beneath him
“He’s getting some rhythm back and we’re trying to get him some open looks and I think tonight he felt good about his game. When you get a guy who is feeling good about his game and working as hard as he has been trying to get his rhythm, it’s going to come.”
- Kyle Lowry on a big night from DeMarre Carroll
The Raptors will finish out this five-game trip in Milwaukee, taking on the Bucks on Friday at 8 P.M. ET.