Lucas Viveiros | The Avro Post

It was a “highs and lows” kind of weekend for the Toronto Raptors, who lead the Eastern Conference of the NBA.


The good

The Raps went into Friday’s game against the lowly Dallas Mavericks as the sheer favourite on home court.

Head coach Dwayne Casey announced before the game that point guard Kyle Lowry would get the night off to rest after playing the night before in Indiana.

After a back and forth contest the Mavericks squandered an eight point lead with just over five minutes to play and could not contain the upbeat Raptor offense.

Demar DeRozan did what he does best, pull through in the clutch, hitting a deep jumper with 1:15 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 106.

Serge Ibaka delivered a monster block with 30 seconds to play, denying Dennis Smith Jr. of a game leading layup.

With the clock ticking down Ibaka was given a chance to play hero by hitting a game-winning shot, but ultimately came up short, resulting in an overtime session.

Derozan was able to separate the two teams for good with a driving shot to break the game free with 53 seconds left.

The Raptors never looked back from there, ending the game on a 7-0 run to take the win 122-115.

This was the 11th straight win for the Raptors, tying the franchise record.

Coach Casey wasn’t all pleased at the games conclusion however, as he expressed some concern:

“We make it hard on ourselves. Every team is coming in and giving their best shot. We’re learning to be the hunted instead of the hunter.”

All in all, DeRozan and Valanciunas lead the charge for the Raps with 29 and 21 points respectively.


The bad

After an emotional win on home court, Toronto waited for Russel Westbrook and the Thunder to arrive on Sunday afternoon, hoping to ride their winning streak to 12 games.

As expected it was a much greater challenge than the game two nights prior.

The game was a battle between two high powered offenses with stars such as Westbrook, DeRozan, George, Lowry, and Anthony all taking part.

That was no slight on the bench however as C.J. Miles delivered 15 points and a monstrous dunk over former Raptor Patrick Patterson.

Norman Powell also returned to the lineup, putting up six points of his own, a long with Delon Wright’s 15 points.

With just over three minutes to go and the score tied 119 a piece, Kyle Lowry was issued his sixth fowl of the game, prompting him to be thrown out. This is where things started to turn ugly for Toronto, and officiating began being called into question.

As the game began to wind down, Russell Westbrook drove the basket with a left handed layup to give the Thunder the lead 127-125.

DeRozan attempted to respond with 32 seconds remaining and could not deliver, as it appeared he was fouled by at least one OKC player.

The game ended with Oklahoma City victorious by a final score of 132-125, snapping Toronto’s winning streak at 11 games.

The frustration from multiple Raptors lead to ejections delivered to DeRozan, Ibaka and even coach Casey before the games conclusion.

DeMar commented on the action following the game saying:

“He (Corey Brewer) tried to smack me because I had a layup, I got fouled.”

During his media scrum Dwayne Casey let the media know that the Raptors would file a formal complaint to the league, also adding:

“Officials are going to miss calls but, as the juncture of the game when some of the calls were made, we’ve got to get it right around the league. Not just this game, the entire league.”

Moving Forward
Toronto will look to bounce back on Tuesday when they are set to play in Orlando against the Magic.

Tip off is 7:00 p.m. from at Amway Center and can be seen on TSN 2.


More news from the court

  • The Raptors continue to score at an unreal rate having scored over 100 points in 22 straight games
  • Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony reached 25,289 points moving into 19th place on the NBA’s list
  • Toronto fell to 43-2 when leading after three quarters
  • Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook had 37 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds pushing his triple-double streak to five straight games

More coverage to follow. Image from 

http://www.nba.com/raptors/press-releases/raptors-announce-2017-18-broadcast-schedule

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