The Toronto Raptors blew yet another close game at home against the San Antonio Spurs. What did we learn from the game?
For the first time in a while, the Toronto Raptors entered a game nearing full health. Nick Nurse welcomed back Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell to the lineup, while the city of Toronto welcomed back a former son in DeMar DeRozan, who still earns his keep with the San Antonio Spurs.
The last time DeRozan returned to Toronto, we saw one of the most memorable endings in franchise history, with Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry teaming up to steal the ball from DeRozan in the final moments of the game.
This time around, it would be DeRozan who would have the last laugh as the Raptors fell 105-104 to the Spurs. DeRozan had a game-high 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, with most of his points coming at the free-throw line.
For three quarters, this was a game the Toronto Raptors were in complete control of, but like three of their last four games, they found a way to throw this game away. This time, it was in the form of a dominant fourth quarter from the Spurs where they outscored the Raptors 36-22.
The Spurs were able to consistently get to the free-throw line and score high-efficiency looks in the paint, outscoring the Raptors 50-34 in the paint. They only shot 21-percent from three and took nine fewer shots than the Raptors, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
Toronto was only able to get to the line 11 times compared to the Spurs 30 times, and that, combined with a 17-0 run in the fourth quarter, was enough to put the sword in the Raptors.
There was a bit of rust from Powell and Siakam, but these aren’t games the Raptors can continue to lose. What did we take away from it all?