Game Rap: Raptors 120, Grizzlies 105
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
a three-pointer from Patrick Patterson gave the Raptors a 15-point lead with two minutes remaining. Although Memphis continued to push until the final buzzer, the Raptors were too much to handle in the second half and Toronto collected a 120-105 victory to move to 12-6 on the season.
UNDERMANNED GRIZZLIES BATTLED TOUGH
The Grizzlies had just nine players in uniform on Wednesday, but that didn’t stop them from giving Toronto all that it could handle early. Memphis was without point guard Mike Conley after he suffered a fractured vertebrae earlier this week. Chandler Parsons is out because of a bone bruise in his knee, Brandan Wright because of an ankle injury and James Ennis because of a calf injury. Former Raptor Vince Carter was ruled out with a hip injury during morning shootaround and Zach Randolph was not with the team for personal reasons.
HOT FROM DOWNTOWN
After struggling from deep to begin the season the Raptors are starting to find their range. Toronto made a season-high 16 three-pointers on Wednesday, shooting 50 percent from the floor (16-for-32). Kyle Lowry and Patrick Paterson combined for eight of those 16 three-pointers, while DeMarre Carroll added three makes of his own.
TURNING IT ON LATE
Memphis held a two-point lead at the half despite being without much of its roster. Toronto shot 58 percent in the first half, but went through much of the first two quarters playing catch up. Things shifted in the second half when the Raptors offence and defence both started clicking and Toronto held the Grizzlies to 48 points while topping 30 points in both the third and fourth quarters. The gap widened in the fourth when Toronto shot 50 percent and the Grizzlies struggled to score, making just 37 percent of their field goal attempts.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 29 points in 37 minutes of action. He shot 8-for-13 from the floor, 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and 9-for-10 from the free throw line. He added three rebounds, eight assists and two steals. DeMar DeRozan added 24 points in 36 minutes, shooting 6-for-9 from the floor. DeRozan went 2-for-3 from deep and 10-for-11 from the foul line. He added nine rebounds and six assists, helping to balance out an uncharacteristically sloppy night with the basketball where the Raptors had 20 turnovers (seven from DeRozan).
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Patrick Patterson quietly put together a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double off the bench in 30 minutes of playing time. The 13 rebounds were a game-high, as well as being a season-high for Patterson. Cory Joseph was also huge off the bench, with 16 points on eight field goals. Joseph played 28 minutes, shooting 4-for-8 from the floor, 1-for-3 from the three-point line, and 7-for-8 from the line. He added eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Whenever the team needed a timely score, it seemed as though Joseph and Patterson were there.
THAT'S A RAP…
“Stop turning the damn ball over. Just play defence, that’s what it’s always mainly about with Case. It was a little bit more explicit than that, but you know.”
- DeMar DeRozan on Dwane Casey’s halftime message
BY THE #’S
42…Rebounds for the Raptors, 30 for the Grizzlies.
55…Percent shooting for Toronto compared with 44 percent shooting for Memphis. The Grizzlies made 41 percent of their three-point attempts, with the Raptors making 50 percent.
20…Turnovers for the Raptors, leading to 18 points for the Grizzlies. Memphis turned the ball over 15 times leading to 23 points for Toronto.
38…Points in the paint for Memphis, 28 for the Raptors.
13…Fast break points for the Raptors, six for the Grizzlies.
THEY SAID IT…
“I think it was early in the season. DeMar was playing out of his mind. We were really feeding off of him. Guys couldn’t get in a rhythm, and we didn’t need to, because we had a guy who was averaging 35 points per game. Now defences are collapsing on him, and he’s making great passes, and we’re getting wide open looks. I think it was just a period of time where we were really relying on him big time. Now we’re trying to take a little bit of the load off of him, and he’s trying to take a little bit of the load off of himself by making great passes.”
- Kyle Lowry on the team’s recent success from beyond the arc
“He’s playing with more juice, he’s getting into the basketball, that’s the most important thing. He’s got to be our defensive stopper in the second unit or if he’s going to play in there with Kyle and DeMar. That’s his role coming in, and he’s doing that, getting into the basketball, creating turnovers, pressuring the ball and that’s who he is. I think that in turn gives him juice on the offensive end, gives him confidence and he plays a little bit freer and tougher on the offensive end. But it starts with his presence on the defensive end.”
- Dwane Casey on Cory Joseph having a big impact off the bench
“When you play a team like that and [they] have a lot of young guys, in a position where they need to step up, they are going to play extremely hard. There’s going to be a lot of things that you’re not used to seeing or you are not expecting. They jumped out on us, they have the culture of being a hard-playing team anyway, all their guys followed suit and we had to make adjustments.”
- DeMar DeRozan on an undermanned Memphis team putting forth a strong effort
The Raptors will face the Los Angeles Lakers at the Air Canada Centre on Friday at 7:30 P.M. ET