2 studs and 1 dud from quality Raptors victory against Spurs

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 4: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates with Gary Trent Jr. #33 against the San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 4: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates with Gary Trent Jr. #33 against the San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors may have lost Yuta Watanabe and Svi Mykhailiuk to the health and safety protocols earlier in the day, but Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, and Gary Trent Jr. still gave this team enough firepower to pick up yet another home victory as 2022 gets kicked off.

Toronto was taking on a shorthanded San Antonio Spurs team, as they did not have the services of either Dejounte Murray or Lonnie Walker. The Raptors wasted no time taking advantage, as they turned this game into an offensive track meet that was dominated by perimeter shooting.

Toronto put up an astonishing 129 points in a 25-point victory. Everyone from starters like VanVleet and Barnes to bench players like Justin Champagnie got in on the offensive fun. Toronto has won their first two games in 2022, which bodes well for a team with play-in aspirations.

Only a couple of players didn’t have great games for the Raptors in this victory. Fans should be thrilled with how this game went, as the team is back at .500 and the offense looked unstoppable at times against a beaten-up San Antonio squad.

81. Final. 104. 29. 129

Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. couldn’t miss for the Toronto Raptors.

In a game where Barnes almost recorded a triple-double and Pascal Siakam had another double-double, it was VanVleet and Trent who ruled the day. If you were not a firm believer in the VanVleet All-Star campaign before this game, he may have changed your mind with his play against San Antonio.

VanVleet only needed three quarters to make his mark, scoring 33 points on 12-23 shooting and 7-13 from 3-point range while dishing out seven assists. VanVleet, who has scored 68 points in his last six quarters, became the first Raptor since Kawhi Leonard to score 30 or more points in three consecutive games.

VanVleet has been Toronto’s best player this season by a wide margin.

Not to be outdone, Trent scored 21 points on 8-16 shooting and 3-9 from 3-point range. With 10 first-quarter points and some trademark pesky defense on the perimeter, Trent was able to help Toronto withstand San Antonio’s broadsides and come out with a victory.

Trent had been struggling with some inefficient shooting nights after returning from the health and safety protocols, but his hot start shows the kind of impact he can have on a game when he’s clicking.

OG Anunoby didn’t have his best game for the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors are finally healthy, but it will take some time for all five starters to figure out how to distribute their shots in an even manner. Anunoby didn’t get a ton of open looks in this game, and he looked a bit out of sorts on offense.

Anunoby eventually hit double figures in scoring, but most of his production came in the fourth quarter when the outcome was already decided. He shot 5-14 from the field with over half of his points coming in the fourth.

Anunoby is allowed to have one or two of these duds on offense considering the defensive skills he brings to the table. While it didn’t come back to bite Toronto in the butt too bad in this game, shooting like this could have some negative effects against a team like the Bucks.

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