After defeating the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night, the Toronto Raptors have clinched a playoff spot for the fourth straight year. It was certainly a back and fourth affair. The Toronto Raptors struggled tremendously to get to the free-throw line. Although the Raptors made 77.8% of their shots from the line, they only shot 9 free-throws total. Dallas, on the other hand shot 20. DeMar DeRozan usually averages 8.5 attempts at the line, on Saturday, he was just 1-2.
Serge Ibaka had another nice outing as well. After picking up his third foul late in the second quarter, Ibaka would have a strong second half and, finished the game with 18 points and 8 rebounds. With Kyle Lowry injured and DeMare Carroll out Saturday, Ibaka has stepped up when needed most. Speaking of stepping up, Patrick Patterson also came out firing on all cylinders in Dallas. Patterson scored 14 points(4-4 from three-point range) and added 5 rebounds. Patterson also added a nice level of defensive consistency and, intensity. Lastly, Cory Jospeh did a little bit of everything. Toronto’s own scored 8 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 5 assists.
For the Toronto Raptors, the work is not over. As of this writing, Boston sits just a half game back of Cleveland for first in the Eastern Conference. Toronto, on the other hand, sit a game back of the Washington Wizards for third in the East and, 3.5 games back of Cleveland for first. Keep an eye on the Atlantic Division race as well. As of this writing, Toronto sits 3 games back of Boston for the Division lead.
The Toronto Raptors are back in action Monday night when they take on the Orlando Magic. Tip Off is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST