The Raps continued their pattern of slow starts & fast finishes last night in Memphis. They were torched for 36 points in Q1 to fall behind by 12, then won the next 3 quarters to win handily by 14. Andrea Bargnani turned in a super-efficient performance, leading all scorers with 21 points despite playing fewer than 18 minutes. His 3/4 from distance must be a huge relief to him & his coaches, who had to be concerned with his ineffectiveness from behind the arc thus far. Jonas Valanciunas’ 15 points is a new high for him. Double-digit scoring from the Centre position is a rare sight in Raptor-land; let’s hope it continues. Kyle Lowry’s 18 looks like just another day at the office for him. He and Jose each had 7 assists, from a total of 30 on 37 field goals.
The Grizzlies were led by – you guessed it – Jerryd Bayless, who scored 17. The bears rested their starters; Gasol, Gay, Randolph & Conley saw no time, which takes a bit of a shine off the Raps’ triumph. Rebounds were 44-37 in favour of the Grizz, who were led by Ronald Dupree’s 11. Andrea & DeRozan each had 1 board – way to crash the glass, boys!
DeMar’s game was weak all round. 6 points in 21+ minutes won’t cut it. He was outscored by Terrence Ross, who had 10 welcome points. Ed Davis & Alan Anderson never saw the floor (neither did Magloire, but I’m not going to mention that anymore – it’s commonplace [update: Magloire has been waived]), which I find surprising. Perhaps they are nicked up, or Coach is sending a message.
The Raptors’ pre-season thus ends with a 5-1 record, or 6-1 if you throw in the Real Madrid exhibition. There remains some roster tweaking, & several more days of hard preparation, before the season begins at home on Hallowe’en against the formidable Indiana Pacers. We’ll be there.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.