Kyle Lowry scored 30 points to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-103 at Moda Center.
The Raptors improved their record to 34-16, with their first win in Portland since 2006. The young backcourt of the Trail Blazers put up a solid fight, both scoring over 20 points in the game. The Raptors held the lead and tempo for the majority of the contest, not allowing the Trail Blazers to come ahead after the first quarter.
Toronto went up by as much as 16 points in tonight’s game, showing stretches of superiority over the current Western Conference 8th seed, the Portland Trail Blazers. The win for the Raptors ends the Trail Blazers’ five game streak that they had coming into the matchup, while giving Toronto their 13th win in 14 games.
Cage’s Report Card
The Toronto Raptors will go as far as their All-Star backcourt can take them, and tonight was a classic case as to why that’s possible.
Lowry and DeMar DeRozan started off the game in full leadership mode for the Raptors, combining to score the team’s first 18 points to give them a 7-point lead. Lowry led all scorers with 30 points, 11 of those points coming in the fourth quarter to help the Raptors ice the game. DeRozan also scored 29 points, with 12 of them coming in the opening frame.
The Raptors were great at finding ways to get the rim against Portland, scoring 44 points in the paint. Jonas Valanciunas scored all his field goals in the paint, helping him record his 11th double double of the season with 14 points, and 11 rebounds to go along with 2 blocks.
The Toronto Raptors played better defence in the first half when they rallied behind their high output scoring, compared to the second half where they were outscored by a more motivated Trail Blazers team.
The Toronto Raptors defence made the explosive backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum work for every point they got tonight. Lillard scored a team high 27 points, going to the free-throw line 10 times to help make up for his poor 40 per cent shooting from the field, and 28.6 per cent from distance.
The biggest weakness the Raptors had was defending the wings, with Allen Crabbe having a solid game for the Trail Blazers, with 17 points to go along with his 2 steals. McCollum also scored 21 points, while shooting 4-6 from three.
Coming into tonight’s game, it was important to stop the Blazers from getting on the offensive glass. The Raptors managed to do a good job of doing so in their win, beating the Blazers 12-10 in that category.
Despite the Raptors efforts, they still allowed the Trail Blazers to come away with more second-chance opportunity points, outscoring the Raptors 16-9. Ed Davis was a large reason for why the Trail Blazers were able to find the extra opportunities in their possessions, hustling in 4 offensive boards in the game.
Valanciunas and Bismack Biyombo combined for 18 rebounds, beating the group of Trail Blazers bigs that were unable to grab more than 7 rebounds each.
Game Ball: Kyle Lowry
With today’s announcement that Lowry will join the All-Star 3-point competition, it’s important to note that after tonight’s game he joins only Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to have three or more games this season with seven 3-pointers.
Tonight, Lowry showed off all the assets of his game by shooting the long ball, attacking the rim, while leading the team with 8 assists. Including this fast break dish to DeRozan.