The Toronto Raptors won the second of a back to back Western Conference road trip, taking down Denver Nuggets 116-102. The Raps are now an unbelievable 24-7.
Depending how you look at it, the best thing about this team has to be the fact that they can simply cruise and then take over games when they need to the most. Considering the fact that they are on a west-coast trip, on the end of a back-to-back, and had to deal with the altitude in Denver it makes sense that the Raps didn’t display 100% intensity for the whole game tonight. They didn’t need to.
The Raps had the game in hand from start to finish, and took over when they had to. It all started with Kyle Lowry, who is seriously playing like an MVP. 30 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds are numbers that few can put up.
Let’s get to the report card:
Offense – A
116 points on 29% shooting is going to get it done most nights. 44% from deep also helps.
Aside from Klow’s 30, most of the offense came from Lou Williams. I didn’t realize that he actually led the Raps and dropped 31 points, but hey, when he gets hot he puts up so many points it’s hard to keep up. Tyler Hansbrough was also solid off the bench with 10 – an encouraging sight after a putrid outing vs the Clippers.
Defense – B+
When it was time to play defense, the Raptors did. They are coming into games against teams like Denver expecting a win, with the mindset that they are going to control the game and lockdown when they have to. While giving up 102 is by no means pretty, allowing just 15 points in the fourth is quite solid.
Rebounding – B
This has become a very meh category for the Raps. They don’t often hammer teams on the boards, nor do they get beaten enough for it to make a substantial difference. They were out-rebounded 49-44, with Kenneth Faried grabbing a big 19 boards and surprisingly, Terrence Ross leading the way for the Raps with 8.
Game Ball – Kyle Lowry
Was there really any other option? Lou was huge in terms of scoring, but Lowry took over the game on both ends. It seemed as though every bucket the Raps manufactured ran through Lowry, and he was really all over this one. He has certainly done all he is capable of without DeRozan.