Raptors set franchise record during insane first quarter vs. Nuggets
The Toronto Raptors gave Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets as good of a shot as they could have possibly taken in their first of two meetings. Still, Scottie Barnes getting dubiously ejected from the game by Scott Foster ripped any chance of a victory out from under them.
Following two largely feckless losses in Los Angeles marred by poor officiating and laughable bench play that has Nick Nurse searching for answers, Toronto wasn’t exactly riding high with a ton of positive momentum as they welcomed the Nuggets back to Toronto.
That didn’t stop the Raptors from setting the court ablaze in what became the highest-scoring single quarter in franchise history. Fred VanVleet was on fire from 3-point range, Scottie Barnes looked like a player that deserved to be taken No. 4 overall, and the bench stepped up when called upon.
The 49 points broke a Raptors franchise record that stood for 25 years, beating a game on January 11, 1997 in which Walt Williams and Georgia Tech head coach Damon Stoudamire combined for 56 points in a win over the Nets. Not a bad start against a quality opponent.
The Toronto Raptors set a franchise record for points in a quarter.
The most impressive part of that quarter was the fact that All-Star forward Pascal Siakam was just 1-6 from the field. In a year where Siakam has had to carry the team offensively for large stretches, everybody brought something to the table in this one.
VanVleet led all scorers with 14 points, nailing four three-pointers along the way. Barnes looked as aggressive as he did in the loss against the Los Angeles Lakers, doing a little bit of everything on the way to finishing with nine points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Jakob Poeltl was his usual, efficient self, making all three of his shot attempts from the field while playing some excellent defense against Jokic and the rest of the mighty Denver offense. OG Anunoby was on target from 3-point range, finishing with 10 points in the first stanza.
Losing is frustrating, but part of the season this year has been so tough for fans is the fact that they can see the potential for nights like this when everything clicks. Doing this against a contender will go a long way toward restoring the vibes this team saw melt away.