It was a long night at the Staples Center as the Toronto Raptors wrapped up. Their five game road trip with a 118-105 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. With the loss, Toronto drops their record to 26-24 but remain on top of the Atlantic by 3 games. This game didn’t feature any performances quite as spectacular as their last matchup, however DeMar DeRozan came through with a monster effort finishing the night with 36 pts (17-19Ft) 8ast & 5rebs. The Raptors were down big heading into the half, but were able to chip away at the Clippers lead by resorting to the hack-a-Jordan. The Raptors had got a 20+ point lead down to single digits but were unable to capitalize on loose balls and offensive rebounds which allowed LA to get a lot of second chance opportunities. The Raptors finish the road trip with a 2-3 record; they’ll face the Pelicans at home Monday.
The Clippers aren’t a team that takes pride what they produce on the defensive end of the court. The Raptors tonight were able to put up points as expected but they only shot 40% as a team putting up 106 points. Anyways, the offence wasn’t as fluid tonight as it was during their last matchup. Ball movement seemed stagnant, as the Raps had to rely on DeMar and a bit of hero ball to even keep them afloat. The Raps tried to get things going in the fourth, but it was a little too late.
The Raptor s couldn’t get a stop to save their lives. Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison penetrated Toronto’s perimeter with ease causing the D to go into recovery mode in terms of getting out to their matchups. Usually the speed of the Raptors allows them to do this effectively, but tonight, they just didn’t have it.
The Raptors deployed the hack-a-Jordan in an attempt to slow down the game, and put the Clippers’ worst free-throw shooter at the line. For the moment being it worked, but if the Raptors truly wanted to capitalize they would’ve boxed out and got those crucial offensive rebounds. Just like Jack Armstrong said, the plan is for DeAndre Jordan to miss, so put a body on someone and box out. Well played Toronto. That was sarcasm. Feel it.
Game ball: Blake Griffin
Raptors Cage game ball goes to Blake Griffin who finished the game with 36 pts & 8 rebs. It’s clear that Blake is a physical monstrosity. What makes it harder for the Raptors is when gets ignited by the Los Angeles fans. Griffin imposed his will against the Raptors and it looked like he had fun doing it, putting on a show (whether it was his flagrant acting or ball-fake dunk) for his home crowd. Tough loss for the Raps, but this game-ball is well deserved.