The Toronto Raptors are now 1st place in the East, after squeezing by division rivals Boston Celtics winning 110-107. The Raptors came out flat to start the game trailing by as much as 16 points in the first quarter; this was Toronto’s fourth game in five nights. Toronto was led by Kyle Lowry aka ‘KLow da God’ who had 31 points after three quarters. His nemesis for the night, Rajon Rondo countered Lowry’s activity finishing with a triple double (13 pts, 10 rebs, 15 ast). The Raptors have gotten to a slow start in nearly every game they’ve played this season, forcing them to fight extra hard down the stretch. On a positive note, Toronto improves to 4-1 but have yet to put it together for a full 48 mins. Toronto will get a couple days rest before they matchup with another tough eastern conference foe in John Wall and the Washington Wizards Friday night.
Offence : A
Once again the Raptors came out sluggish, shooting the ball atrociously in the first and into the early second. The Raps were without bigs Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas manning the middle. DeMar DeRozan finished the game with 23 points (9/25 FG) and a game clinching dunk, however he struggled to get it going as he was a victim of his own shot selection. It wasn’t until the second half until the real DeMar showed up. The Raptors also did another stellar job of protecting the rock, only giving up 7 turnovers. The raptors shot 48% for the game, with Louis Williams stepping up in a big way contributing 11 points to give the Raps a much needed offensive spark off the bench. As Terrence Ross continues his inconsistent play, it’s nice to see Sweet Lou get further assimilated with his new team.
The raptors allowed the Celtics to score 35 points on nearly 80%shooting after the first quarter. There was a point where the Celtics converted on 8 straight field goals with the Raptors failing to make a stop. Luckily the Raptors picked up their defensive efforts after being down 16. They made the Celtics turn the ball over 27 times leading to 36 points off those turnovers. James Johnson, Chuck Hayes and Kyle Lowry all made concentrated defensive efforts to get Toronto back in the game. If the Raptors plan to keep winning their gonna need a complete defensive effort for four quarters as they’re not good enough yet to just flip on the switch and get stops.
It seemed as though the Celtics were taking a lot of deep jumpers making it difficult for the bigs to get on the glass. Toronto always seems to have problems with Jared Sullinger (19pts. 16 rebs); even with Amir and Jonas. However tonight’s real problem on the glass was fellow Canuck Kelly Olynyk who seemed to have his hand in every play tonight. Toronto was out rebounded 55-24 by Boston, but still somehow squeaked by with the road victory. Let’s hope for a healthy return from JV and Amir to really set an example of how to hit the glass.
The game ball for tonight’s matchup goes to none other than Kyle Lowry who exploded for 35 points on 12/17 shooting. He single handedly willed Toronto to victory. If it wasn’t for Lowry getting to the line early when shots weren’t dropping, the bleeding may have never stopped for Toronto. Thank you KLow for showing us why you’re arguably the best point guard in the Eastern conference. In KLow we trust. #ProveEm