The Raptors’ five-game winning streak came to a screeching halt in Alamo city. The masterful Spurs used their deep rotation to maximum advantage as they wore down the Raps. Every Spur played & scored, & their game leader was Tim Duncan, with a modest 15 points. A close game began to slip away due to turnovers near the end of Q2, & the Raps never threatened in the second half.
Aaron Gray got the start at Centre, as Jonas Valanciunas is out for at least a month with a broken ring finger. Aaron does his best, but has little to offer, & was badly outclassed on this night. Mikael Pietrus provided no value as well; I will be very surprised if he’s still a Rap at the All-Star break. When 2/5 of your starters should be on a bench in the D-League, enormous pressure is passed to the others. They weren’t up to the task. Just after the tip, DeMar DeRozan raced down the lane for an easy cram but clanked it, which set the tone for his night. He had a mere 8 points, & was minus22. Jose Calderon dished out 10 assists, & chipped in 7 points, but his offensive options were limited. Ed Davis hit a couple of nice jumpers early, & rocked the rim with a highlight dunk in Q2, but missed the rest of his shots. Coach Casey had a quick hook, as they say in baseball. Once the game’s outcome was manifest, he yanked his main men, which meant the last few minutes were given to the likes of Quincy Acy, Landry Fields, John Lucas & Overmatched Aaron.
San Antonio, which hardly needed the help, were given a boost by the zebras. The Spurs took 29 Free Throws & made 24, while the Raps were 7/12. It seems sophomoric to complain about the refereeing, but even the play-by-play guys were commenting on the foul-shot disparity. Linas Klieza’s exasperation with repeated no-calls cost him a technical foul, for which he should be forgiven. On one play, Tim Duncan, the cunning old pro, grabbed Linus’ arm to hold him down while Kawhi Leonard raced in to grab & cash the rebound Linas would have grabbed.
Let’s hope Friday’s game against the Pelicans-to-be in New Orleans results in the creation of a new winning streak.
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.