Raptors Cage

Post Game Report Card: Toronto Raptors survive Trail Blazers comeback

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The Toronto Raptors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 117-115, holding off a 22-point fourth quarter explosion by Damian Lillard.

After the Raptors held a 15-point lead at the 1:56 mark of the third quarter, the Trail Blazers were able to cut it to 116-115 with 2.2 seconds to go in the game. That sent DeMar DeRozan to the free throw line for the final time, setting a career high with 24 made free-throws.

As their final matchup of the season the Raptors improve to 2-0 record against the Trail Blazers, while the victory also marks the Raptors 12th consecutive home win.

Offence: A

The Toronto Raptors were led by their All-Star backcourt, as Kyle Lowry and DeRozan combined for 66 points. DeRozan practically lived at the charity stripe, setting a career high with 24 made free throws out of 25 attempts, on his way to a team high 38 points.

Jonas Valanciunas also recorded a double-double with 17 points, helping the Raptors outscore the Trail Blazers 50-40 in the paint. Norman Powell went for a career high with 10 points in around 21 minutes of play, largely in part to Dwane Casey sitting James Johnson.

The Raptors did a great job at shooting the basketball, making 50.7 per cent of their shots from the field. They also went 6-12 from distance, while setting a season high in free throw attempts with 54.

Defence: B

The Raptors got fortunate that time ran out, since Lillard was officially on fire to end the game. Finishing with 50 points, it looked like the Raptors had no way to handle Lillard’s unlimited range.

Luckily for the Raptors, he didn’t have much help, considering CJ McCollum was the only Blazers’ player to join him in double digits with 24 points. With their young backcourt, the Blazers were able to slice and dice the Raptors defence, providing the Air Canada Centre with some memorable entertainment.

The Raptors did step up enough on the defensive end of the floor, limiting the Blazers to 46.9 per cent shooting. The biggest presence on defence was Bismack Biyombo, who along with his 9 points was able to pick up 2 nasty blocks.

Rebounding: B

The Raptors beat the Trail Blazers 38-36 on the boards, not marking an incredible feat for either team. As the Raptors continue their rebounding slump, tonight’s game marks their 14th lowest rebounding performance of the season.

Ed Davis led the Trail Blazers with 7 rebounds, and grabbed 3 of their team’s 10 offensive rebounds. Thanks to the the Blazers hustle, they were able to beat  the Raptors in second chance opportunities 19-12.

Valanciunas led the Raptors with 10 boards, while Powell grabbed 6 to go along with his career night.

Game Ball: DeMar DeRozan

DeRozan came so close to setting the NBA record for the highest number of made free throws without a single miss, until he purposely missed his last attempt to drain the remaining 0.9 seconds of the game.

He did in fact set a season high in made free throws across the NBA, by going a stellar 24-25 from the line.

The best part of the his attack, was that he didn’t settle for a 3-pointer the entire game. Instead he pressured the defence by going to the rim, forcing Mason Plumlee, Allen Crabbe, Gerald Henderson, and Davis to all finish with 5 personal fouls.

This game ball could of easily been given to Lillard, who rallied the Blazers without any support from his role players. But in the end, it was DeRozan who rallied the Raptors to their 41 win of the season.


All stats for this article are from NBA.com

You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97











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