In a dominating 93-73 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Toronto Raptors were able to cruise to victory in their pre-season debut. In front of a roaring Vancouver crowd, Kyle Lowry led the retooled Raptors with 26 points (7-10 FG, 11-12 FT), along with a couple of steals and assists.
It's real EARLY and preseason, but Kyle Lowry's body transformation is fantastic. IF he and DeRozan can stay healthy, scary.. Nice backcourt
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) October 5, 2015
To start the game, Lowry fed Jonas Valanciunas down low, giving the Lithuanian the first five of eight scoring opportunities for the Raptors. They would soon get too comfortable, as the Clippers went on a 10-0 run mid-way through the first. With substitutions made by both teams, the Raptors started to regain their energy, maybe from the boos that welcomed Paul Pierce off the Clippers bench. With 3:05 left, Lowry tied it up at 16 with a strong layup, which helped the Raptors start a 10-2 run to end the quarter up 24-16. The period was also a great welcome for Bismack Biyombo, who had this nasty block.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 5, 2015
The second quarter started off slow for both teams, as they struggled to keep their offences flowing. At the 6:10 mark, former Atlanta Hawk DeMarre Carroll scored a fade away jumper as his first basket for the Toronto Raptors. And at 5:13, Cory Joseph drilled his first basket in-front of the home crowd, putting the Raptors up 32-24. Chris Paul would record 5 assists during the last 6 minutes of the second quarter, adding to his game total of 8. But the Raptors still found themselves up 40-34 at the end of the half.
Starting with a DeMar DeRozan fade-away, the third quarter was in the hands of the Raptors. A more composed Lowry was the centre piece, when with 10:32 in the quarter he drew a foul on DeAndre Jordan to complete a three-point play. It would get the Raptors on a 20-10 run, before Blake Griffin put Terrence Ross on a poster, adding to his game total of 14.
¡¡ Blake Griffin volando !! https://t.co/urpErt5HLc
— NBA (@NBAsphera) October 5, 2015
Terrence Ross would respond with his own highlight clip, putting Jamal Crawford on skates.
It's only preseason, but….Terrence Ross….got em. https://t.co/141CMqQAFc
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) October 5, 2015
Lowry would score his final 13 points that quarter, and Jonas Valanciunas would snatch his 12 board, giving the Raptors a comfortable 77-62 lead heading into the fourth. The Raptors never looked back, as down the stretch Coach Dwane Casey was able to unload the rest of his bench. Delon Wright and Norman Powell, the Raptors’ rooks, logged minutes together. While Bruno Caboclo added to his 22 minutes of playing time.
In the Raptors 94-73 win, they held the Clippers to a 38% clip from the field. While the offences of both teams will take time to perfect, the Raptors should be confident of their improved defence. Lowry’s off-season body transformation and only one personal foul are great signs for things to come, even though it’s only the pre-season. Their next game is against the offensively loaded Golden State Warriors on Oct. 5., another great challenge for this retooled Raptors lineup.
You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97