Raptors News: Christian Koloko’s first clutch three, explaining Champagnie waive

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 31: Christian Koloko #35 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 31: Christian Koloko #35 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images /

Christian Koloko’s first NBA 3-pointer couldn’t have come at a better time for the Toronto Raptors. The rookie center hit a corner three with a little under two minutes to put the Raptors up by six, helping secure a much-needed home win against the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Koloko, who helped limit Deandre Ayton on Friday night, was previously 0-7 from three this season, and he was not a factor from deep during his college career at Arizona. Koloko spoke about the big shot after the game, specifically Gary Trent Jr. giving him the ball in that spot with the game still up for grabs.

“He saw me. He ain’t got no choice, to be honest, because I think he had two men in front of him,” Koloko said, according to The Athletic’s Eric Koreen. The young center thanked Trent for believing in him after a timeout, even after GTJ had amassed 33 points in this game.

“I appreciate you believing in me, for trusting me on that last pass,” Koloko said. “It’s the end of the game, and I’m not put in that position everyday.” The Raptors defeated the Suns 113-104. Koloko finished the game with eight points and four rebounds. Perhaps this is a sign that he is starting to turn a corner on the offensive side of the ball.

More Raptors News

  • Nick Nurse said that he conducted a very difficult film session with the team in which only he was speaking. Nurse said he showed “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in the session. At least the team had a strong response.
  • The Toronto Raptors waived forward Justin Champagnie despite signing him to a multi-year contract in the offseason. Champagnie played just 11 total minutes this season. With the move, The Raptors avoided a $1.6 million cap hit that would have come if Champagnie had been on the roster by January 1.

More NBA News

  • LeBron James scored 47 points in a win against the Atlanta Hawks on his 38th birthday. The Lakers defeated the Hawks 130-121. James was one assist shy of a triple-double, closing the night with ten rebounds and nine assists. No other Laker scored more than 19 points.
  • Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan commented on his status with the team amid a report that “states he has strongly contemplated stepping down,” according to an article by Shams Charania. McMillan said the “talk with my family” to see if he would be the Hawks’ coach at the season’s end.

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