After finishing a discouraging 2-3 on their five-game Western road-trip, the Toronto Raptors bounced back with a win against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight, 108-101. While falling behind by a substantial amount became a norm throughout that road-trip, the Raptors assured themselves a quick start tonight, outscoring the Pelicans 31-20 after the opening quarter. Despite a couple Pelicans’ runs late in the game, the Raptors were able to weather the storm, and improve to 13-10 at the Air Canada Center this season.
Image Source: Tyler Anderson – National Post
While their defense wasn’t apparent tonight, the Raptors’ offense was, allowing themselves to salvage a W tonight. Shooting a respectable 47% from the field, including 41% from beyond the arc, Toronto stuck to their motto of getting high % looks via sufficient ball movement (22 assists). With the insertion of Patrick Patterson in the starting line up tonight (in place of an injured Amir Johnson), the Toronto Raptors had themselves a different look offensively, which proved to benefit them nicely. Patterson scored a season-high 22 points, while Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Terrence Ross, all pitched in with nice offensive performances as well.
The Toronto Raptors have not been in sync in quite some time, and it was the same case again tonight. Despite getting the W, the Toronto Raptors allowed the Pelicans to shoot over 50% from the floor, including 50% from deep as well. The Toronto Raptors had various opportunities to put the strangle hold on this game, but failed to do so, thanks in large part to their lack of intensity on defense.
The rebounding totals were even tonight, with both teams hauling down 36 rebounds apiece (9 offensive). Anthony Davis led the way with 7 rebounds for the Pelicans, while Jonas Valanciunas led the way with 8.
Game Ball: Kyle Lowry
Recognizing the importance of taking advantage of sub .500 teams at home, Kyle Lowry made sure there would be no other option. Posting another near triple-double of 19 points (8-13 FG), 12 assists, and 7 rebounds (5 offensive), Lowry was pivotal in controlling the pace of the game, especially during New Orleans’ runs. He had himself yet another “all-star” performance, and took advantage of a point-guard matchup that was heavily in his favor.