Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/The Associated Press
Led by season high point performances from both Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, the Toronto Raptors delivered a statement win Friday night, 123-117, over the Brooklyn Nets.
In a thrilling and at times bizarre game, the Raptors put forth one of their best performances of the season, with a complete showing on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Raptors had season highs in field goals made and points in the paint, while the defence held the trio of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to a combined 40 points.
Toronto never trailed in the first half and continued to make their shots in the later stages of the game. Kyle Lowry recorded 30 points to go along with 7 assists and a game high six three pointers, while Pascal Siakam scored 33 points on 52% shooting to lead all scorers. 15 of the Raptors 25 points in the third quarter came from Siakam, who made a fadeway jumper at the buzzer to put the Raptors up heading into the fourth.
After poor shooting, Fred VanVleet delivered in the clutch, hitting his first three pointer with under two minutes left in the game to extend the Raptors lead to six.
While scoring 117 points and making 17 shots from beyond the arch, the Nets did not have a single player over 20 points due to an impressive defensive performance from Toronto. Both Chris Boucher and DeAndre’ Bembry provided a spark off the bench for the Raptors. Boucher, contributed with his offence and shot blocking ability, while Bembry did so with his aggressive defence.
While the Raptors picked up their third straight win and have now won 8 of their past 12 games, much of the talk surrounding tonight’s matchup will revolve around the situation with Kevin Durant.
After being pulled from the starting lineup minutes before the game due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Durant returned to play 19 minutes, before being removed in the first five minutes of the second half.
The NBA is currently reviewing Durant’s contact with the positive individual, and he will not travel with the team for their game on Saturday night. The situation, which created a great amount of discussion online, has many people questioning the NBA’s protocols and why Durant was in the game to begin with. Durant on the other hand, was firm about his opinion on the league’s ruling.
The Raptors look to extend their win streak to four, as they continue their road trip tomorrow night against the Atlanta Hawks (8:00pm, EST).