The Toronto Raptors had good news with the returns of Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam but ultimately fell to the Spurs 105-104 in a down-to-the-wire battle.
The Toronto Raptors are struggling, now losers of three of their last five games but things are still looking positive moving forward. The biggest reason for this positivity moving forward is that Sunday night marked the return of Raptors' star Pascal Siakam, who had been out for 11 games with a groin injury and guard Norman Powell, who has provided a solid scoring punch all season.
Early on Siakam showed no signs of rust as he dominated the opening frame and the Raptors raced out to an early lead before the Spurs free throw advantage really started to chip away at the Toronto Raptors lead.
With Siakam cooled off, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Powell did the best they could ahead. Once the Spurs finally did pull ahead, it was the aforementioned trio of Raptors that used a 3-point barrage to make this a down to the wire finish. But although the Raptors' shooting pulled them back into things late, Siakam ultimately couldn't lead them to the win, missing on two looks late. One shot was an open layup attempt at the rim that could have tied it and the second, a long heave that would have won it but was off by a decent amount.
This loss stings not because the Spurs are some awful team but because the Toronto Raptors at one point possessed an 18-point lead. But with a few days off before heading to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder, Nick Nurse and Co. have plenty of time to review the film and fine-tune the little things to get back on track. So with the Raptors looking one step closer to full strength, how did everyone grade in the tough loss to Toronto's former superstar talent?