Toronto Raptors: Top 5 performances from an impressive week 3

Toronto Raptors - Norman Powell (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Norman Powell (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
3 of 6
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Chris Boucher (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

4. Chris Boucher

Opponent: Los Angeles Lakers

Stat line: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 blocks

The game against the Lakers was always going to be difficult for the Raptors to win without the services of Kyle Lowry or Serge Ibaka. It would take a group effort to replace the 36 points per game that both Lowry and Ibaka provided. In game one, against the Lakers, they received that group effort.

With Ibaka out, it was Chris Boucher’s moment to prove he deserved more minutes. Prior to the Lakers game, Boucher was barely playing 5 minutes per game. His most minutes (13) came against the Pelicans when Ibaka got injured. In Sunday night’s contest, he received 24 minutes against a powerful big man rotation of Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard.

The Raptors started slow and were down 10-18 in the early minutes of the first quarter. That’s when Boucher subbed in for Anunoby and provided that defensive spark the team needed. Toronto was able to trim the first-quarter deficit and ended the quarter down just one.

During his time in the first and beginning of the second quarter, Boucher’s length and athleticism created problems for Lakers bigs. He was reading the opposing offense well, collecting one block and two steals to go along with six points at halftime.

Boucher checked in at the one-minute mark of the 3rd with the score tied at 73-73. While he didn’t make an impact during the third, he made game-winning plays in the 4th quarter.

Boucher scored nine points in the game’s final frame, including a clutch triple to help the Raps pull away. Boucher also delivered two key blocks on both LeBron James and Anthony Davis to protect and preserve the lead the team worked so hard to build.

Boucher scored the most points of any bench player and finished tied for the most blocks and steals on the entire team. Maybe this was just a one-time flash in the pan performance. Or maybe this is a sign of things to come.