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Morgan, Banton lead Raptors past Nets in Summer League finale

Photo credit: Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors’ Summer League squad put the cherry on top of an impressive week with a 86-72 win over the Brooklyn Nets, extending their record to 4-1.

Third-year guard Matt Morgan led the way for Patrick Mutumbo’s squad, scoring a game-high 24 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the field. Dalano Banton ran the show for Toronto, showing his versatile skill set on both ends of the floor; the Rexdale-native scored nine points, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out four assists and secured two steals. Jalen Adams registered 14 points, and Egyptian center Anas Mahmoud dominated in the paint, scoring six points, bringing down seven rebounds and swatting three shots away.

NBA veteran Brandon Knight provided the spark for the Nets, scoring 15 points. Former Raptor Alize Johnson made his presence known on the court, registering 11 points and grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds. Center Chris Silva might not have lit up the scoresheet offensively, but he consistently struck fear in Toronto’s scorers, meeting them at the rim all game and rejecting four shots.

The first-half was sloppy, to say the least. Offences stalled often, as both teams’ top scorers – Malachi Flynn for Toronto, Cam Thomas for Brooklyn – were left out of the contest. The Nets shot only 18 per cent from the field in the first-half, while the Raptors registered 17 turnovers. The second quarter might have been the dullest sequence of professional basketball you’ll see all year, as the teams went into the half-time break scoring eight points each in the quarter.

Play picked up in the second half as the flow of the game grew and players executed much better. Toronto grew their lead thanks to some hot shooting from their guards, while solid team defence held Brooklyn pointless for extended periods.

Banton and Morgan rose to the occasion with the likes of Scottie Barnes, Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa sitting out. Banton looked in control and confident, while Morgan kept the defence on its heels all game with his stellar outside shooting and slithery dribble drives.

With four wins out of five games, Raptors’ management has to be happy with what they’ve seen from some of their prospects in Vegas. While questions continue to rise over the ball club heading into the new season, the future looks pretty bright.

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