Game Rap: Raptors 123, Sixers 114
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Jonas Valanciunas knocked down a pair of free throws to put Toronto ahead 117-109 with 41.3 seconds remaining. After leading 109-90 with 5:41 remaining, the Raptors struggled to slow a furious Sixers push to get back into the game, but ultimately Toronto’s lead was too much for Philadelphia to overcome and the Raptors collected a 123-114 victory on the road.
STARTING OFF SLOW
The Raptors got off to a less-than-desirable start against the Sixers, shooting just 37 percent in the opening quarter. Toronto trailed 25-22 after the first 12 minutes after turning the ball over six times.
BOUNCE BACK SECOND
Things shifted in the second quarter where the Raptors got back on track offensively. Toronto shot 64 percent in the quarter, while holding Philadelphia to 44 percent shooting as the Raptors outscored the 76ers 38-29 to take a 60-54 lead into the halftime break. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry scored 17 of Toronto’s 38 in the quarter, while Cory Joseph was key off the bench, scoring 10 points on 4-for-5 field goals.
PLAY(S) OF THE GAME
There wasn’t any doubt what kind of dunk Terrence Ross was going to throw down when he found himself in the open court with 4:11 remaining n the first half. After missing a windmill on the Air Canada Centre court in Toronto’s victory against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, Ross threw down an emphatic windmill in Philadelphia. Less than a minute later, a Jonas Valanciunas steal led to a DeMar DeRozan dunk in traffic that had the entire Raptors bench, Ross included, on their feet in disbelief.
THIRD QUARTER CRUISING
Toronto won the third easily, outscoring the Sixers 32-20 in the quarter to take a 92-74 lead into the fourth. DeMar DeRozan had a fantastic quarter, scoring 14 points in 12 minutes on 5-for-6 shooting, while Patrick Patterson was big off the bench, playing the entire third after he started the second half.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan topped 30 points for the 13th time this season, scoring 31 points in 30 minutes. He shot 11-for-18 from the floor and 9-for-11 from the free throw line, while adding five rebounds and three assists. He scored in a variety of ways, with his dunks being the most memorable possessions of the game, but many of his shots having an extremely high degree of difficulty. The Raptors were a +17 when DeRozan was on the floor.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Patrick Patterson had another huge game off the bench. Although his numbers were modest, with nine points, five rebounds and an assist, the impact he had in his 28 minutes of action was huge. The Raptors were a +16 with Patterson on the floor, and his 12 minutes in the third quarter were crucial as the team built up its lead heading into the fourth. As the Sixers came roaring back late, the Raptors needed every bit of the lead it had built to protect the victory.
THAT'S A RAP…
“We just understand what needs to be done. Not much has to be said. We kind of know after a lot of games what we need to be better at next game. Consciously we’re going into next practice, next game with that on our minds to be better. It’s just the maturity of us and all of the guys that have been on this team carrying it over to the younger guys.”
- DeMar DeRozan on what he likes about how this year’s team is playing
BY THE #’S
20…Points, four rebounds, seven assists for Kyle Lowry who played 37 minutes and shot 6-for-12 from the floor, 5-for-10 from the three-point line and 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
46…Each team scored 46 points in the paint.
11…Just 11 turnovers in the game for the Raptors despite turning it over six times in the opening quarter. The Sixers scored 15 points off Toronto’s miscues, while the Raptors scored 21 points off Philadelphia’s 14 turnovers.
40…Fourth quarter points scored by the Sixers compared to 31 for the Raptors.
26…2nd chance points for Toronto, 14 for Philadelphia.
THEY SAID IT…
“It’s a great example: the game is never over until it’s over. We’re not good enough to let up and relax. Every NBA team in this league can come back and get you. That’s what’s upsetting about a pretty good going game until the fourth quarter. Gave up 40 points and 50 percent shooting because we took our foot off the gas pedal and you can’t do that in this league.”
- Dwane Casey on the importance of not letting up with a lead in the fourth quarter
“That was the most important part of our game plan: Matching their energy because they play hard for the full 48 minutes.”
- Cory Joseph on needing to bring a lot of energy against a Sixers team that does not quit
“The biggest thing I like is anybody can get it going any given night. We’re doing it as a team. We’re not doing it as two individuals, we’re doing it as a team. Guys are stepping in, doing their part, if it’s on the defensive end, of it’s on the offensive end, everybody knows their role and is doing their role. That’s the biggest thing right now. I think we’re in a good place. We’re just got to keep trying to grow.”
- DeMarre Carroll on what he likes about how this year’s team is playing
The Raptors return to Toronto for a day of practice before taking on the Atlanta Hawks at the Air Canada Centre on Friday at 7:30 P.M. ET.