Houston ends long losing streak with 117-99 win over Toronto

Photo Credit: Bob Levey/The Associated Press

The Toronto Raptors extended their losing streak to nine games after Monday night’s loss to the Houston Rockets in Houston.

The Rockets’ win is their first since Feb. 4 and comes after a 20-game skid. John Wall led the way for Houston with a 19-11-10 triple-double, his first since 2016. Rookie Jae’Sean Tate led the team in scoring with 22 points, while Christian Wood ended the night with 19 points after getting into foul trouble early.

Fred VanVleet was the highest scoring Raptor on Monday with 27 points, shooting 9 of 17. Pascal Siakam followed with 21 points and 10 boards.

The game was close through three quarters, with the Raptors going on a 13-2 run heading into the final period. A 22-9 run by the Rockets early in the fourth put the game out of reach for Toronto and ended any hope of a comeback for Nick Nurse’s squad.

The Rockets excelled from deep, hitting 14 of 36 three-point attempts. On the other side, the Raptors struggled from beyond the arc, only sinking 25 per cent of their shots.

Toronto’s bench had a poor scoring night, putting too much pressure on the starters on the second night of a back-to-back. VanVleet, Lowry, Siakam and Powell accounted for 84 of the team’s 99 points in the game, with the rest of the squad only contributing 15.

The Raptors’ struggles continue during back-to-back games this season, as they drop to 1-8 on the second nights in these scenarios. While they were able to keep the game close for most of the night, the fatigue and wear on the players began to show in the fourth quarter and loosened their grip on the game.

DeAndre’ Bembry was assessed a pair of technical fouls in the fourth quarter and was promptly ejected for complaining to the game officials.

OG Anunoby was rested and was inactive for the game. He is one of five Raptors who missed time due to the league’s Covid health and safety protocols.

Toronto will travel back “home” to Tampa to face the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, where they’ll look to put an end to a miserable stretch of losses. A special TSN telecast will feature an all-female broadcast team; the first of its kind in NBA history (7:30PM EST).

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