The Toronto Raptors now drop to 22-21, after losing a high-octane, high scoring basketball game to the Los Angeles Clippers. It was a fun, entertaining game, with almost little to no defense at all – by both teams. Impressive performances by Jamal Crawford, going off for 37 points and 11 assists, and their power forward Blake Griffin, who finished the game with 30 points and 5 rebounds. On the Raptors side, Kyle Lowry finished with a double-double to follow his triple-double in Philly (11 points, 12 assists), and the two young guys broke out of their sophomore blues; Jonas Valanciunas with 17 points and 12 assists, and Terrence Ross breaking history. DeMar DeRozan went down with a left ankle sprain, rolling it on – *cue the boos* – Hedo Turkoglu‘s foot after landing from a jump-shot, and Patrick Patterson not playing the rest of the game after sustaining a broken nose from a Blake Griffin elbow. Tough night for the Raptors, with two of their top 9 guys not able to finish a game where they were much needed.
Big time game offensively by the Raptors, especially from the perimeter where they finished with 48% on 29 shots. The team also shot a near 49% from the field, and they shared the ball with 24 assists. Issue with their offense tonight, was 15 turnovers, and riding Terrence Ross with constant isos in the 4th – it was bound to happen with his historical night. He was unsuccessful on many of his trips down the stretch of the game, and when the Raps didn’t go to him in isolation, it was either missed shots or turnovers in the pick-&-roll. DeMar was missed big time down the stretch of this game; pin-downs, off cuts, post-ups would have given different looks to the Clippers’ defense which was pretty bad. Hopefully he’ll be fine against Brooklyn where they’ll need him against some Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce.
The defense, plain and simple, was awful tonight. They gave up 126 points on near 55% shooting from the field, and did not turn the Clips over; only 7 turnovers on the night. They allowed Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford to have 30 or more a piece, and that enough was the story defensively.
Only positive tonight that stayed consistent throughout the game. The Raptors won the glass battle, finishing the game 42-32, and only allowing the Clippers to get 8 offensive rebounds despite having Griffin and Deandre Jordan in the paint.
Game Ball: Terrence Ross
Ross was unbelievable tonight, and had an historical night. He tied Vince Carter’s franchise record in points with 51, made 10 threes out of 17, had 9 rebounds, and overall an efficient night with only 29 shots. Nothing more to say about him, other than it made myself – including many basketball fans – speechless. Fantastic performance from him, and hopefully he can build off of it for the near future and more.