The Toronto Raptors came away with the 98-85 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday Night. The game was a tight affair. But the Raptors were able to pull away in the second-half by pushing the pace on offense. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 21 points, while Patrick Patterson had 11 points off the bench in 30 energetic minutes. Let’s get to the report card:
The Raptors were able to put up close to 100 points against a traditionally good defensive team. After a poor first-half in which the Raptors committed 8 turnovers, they tightened up and only committed 4 turnovers the rest of the game. Through penetration and kick-outs, they created great shots. Unfortunately, the Raptors were only able to knock down 7 of their 28 attempted threes. But they still put up 98 points on a grind-it-out offensive night.
Without Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies had limited options on the offensive end. Nevertheless the Raptors were able to hold Mike Conley to just 8 points and shut-down Zach Randolph in the fourth quarter. Given that this was going to be a grinder, the Raptors were able to prove that their defense could withstand the physicality and half-court play of playoff-type basketball.
It was another clean night for the Raptors on the glass. They boxed-out efficiently and didn’t give up many second-chances. They were able to out-rebound the Grizzlies 47-44 which is a respectable job. Jonas Valanciunas continued to dominate the glass and picked up 12 rebounds.
Game Ball: Kyle Lowry
Lowry stepped up when he needed to tonight. Sure he was 2-6 from downtown. His stats weren’t incredible overall, either with 18 points and 7 assists. But created opportunities for his teammates and got the Grizzlies’ solid half-court defense out of whack. Time and time again Lowry looked to push the tempo. However, he did an excellent job (especially in the second-half) at staying under control and not losing the ball as he only committed 2 turnovers the whole game.