Three takeaways from the Toronto Raptors win in New Orleans

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors went into the Big Easy last night, and for the majority of the evening, they dominated the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Toronto Raptors had a great performance against the one-win New Orleans Pelicans. At one point, they even had a lead as large as 29 points. Things began to unravel in the fourth quarter though when the Raptors began making multiple mistakes.

Toronto started the fourth quarter 1-6 with three turnovers. It was their only stumble of the game, as the team managed to find their footing to close out the contest and get their second victory against the Pelicans this season.

Here are the game’s three biggest takeaways:

Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka go down

Nick Nurse used 11 players in last night’s game. He was able to empty the bench early because his players were taking care of business, running up the lead. Those same reserves also saw extra time due to injuries.

Kyle Lowry was forced to leave the game after fracturing his left hand in the first quarter. He hurt it trying to strip Derrick Favors of the ball under his own net. It’s the same thumb that he surgically repaired this summer. The silver lining is that Lowry did enter back into the game after fracturing the thumb, so perhaps there is a chance he’s able to return quicker than most people think. 

As if Lowry’s injury wasn’t devastating enough, Serge Ibaka also went down hard. In the final minute of the second quarter, Ibaka left his feet attempting to block a Brandon Ingram layup. When he came down he landed on OG Anunoby, twisting his ankle. Ibaka was helped off the floor and limped back to the locker room with a right ankle sprain.

Lowry is seeing a hand specialist while in Los Angeles. Ibaka’s ankle was described as “pretty bad” by Nurse after the game. We’re still waiting on definitive timelines. However, both will likely miss at least a few weeks.

Pascal Siakam puts the team on his back

Pascal Siakam isn’t surprising anyone anymore with his talent. He looked unstoppable all night long. He started the game picking up 13 points in just the first five minutes of action. It turned out that he was just getting warmed up.

Siakam drained five triples in the opening half, helping him reach 26 points before the break. Spicy P’s explosion of buckets helped the Raptors reach their second-highest point total in franchise history. But Siakam wasn’t done there.

The monster night continued for Cameroonian. He finished the game with a double-double. He also tied his career-best point total, pouring in 44. That came in conjunction with 10 rebounds and four assists. It was Siakam’s fourth 30+ point game of the season.

In his post-game interview with Jack Armstrong, Siakam explained why he was able to play a complete game. He said:

"“I think I just have more energy. I think that’s my first game all year where I feel like I had energy and I was engaged… It doesn’t matter the score or how many points I score, I just have to be engaged on both sides of the floor.”"

Fast breaks and 3-pointers

The Raptors took advantage of their speed and chemistry to pick up 38 fast break points. Coming off scoring 18 of them in their win against the Sacramento Kings, they used the same recipe in New Orleans.

Just 15 minutes into the game, the Raptors already had 22 points in transition. They pressured the ball on defense and challenged the Pelicans to take difficult shots. That allowed the Raps the opportunity to get the ball and move it down the floor quickly before the Pelicans defense could get set. Pace played a significant role in Toronto’s early lead.

Fast breaks weren’t the only impressive stat on the night. Between just Siakam and Anunoby, the Dinos drained 10 jumpers from beyond the arc. They each had five in the game. Together, the team dropped 19 threes. They did it at a great clip as well, scoring 44-percent of their outside shots.

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The Toronto Raptors’ next game is Sunday night in Los Angeles against the LeBron James and the Lakers. You can find the postgame grades and takeaways, here at Raptors Rapture.