The Raptors kept to the script in tonight's game; keeping up with the Warriors until the final minutes in the fourth, at which point the Warriors took full control of the game. The Splash Brothers, aka. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson struggled mightily in the early goings, but managed to step up in the final quarter and help Golden State finish off the Dinos.
The best player in tonight's game was not one of the usual victims; Curry, Thompson, DeRozan, Calderon or even Lee. Oh no. Aaron Gray was the best player in tonight's game; for either team. Yes, you read that right. More on that...
Raptors MVP: Aaron Gray
First let me give you some background. Aaron Gray is an eight year NBA veteran, having played 261 games in the Association. He's a poor scorer, a below average rebounder, and can play solid defense at times. He's spent his entire career on the bench, and has life averages of 3.6 ppg and 3.8 rpg. However, this season he's had career lows in both of those categories.
Well, that same Aaron Gray had the best game of his career tonight, and earned MVP chants from the 15,000 in attendance.
Andrew Bogut's surprise return put Aaron Gray into the line up to beginthe game. From the first whistle, he out-hustled both Lee and Bogut, scoring 10 points and grabbing three offensive rebounds in the first eight minutes.
Gray tied his career high of 18 points just 20 seconds into the second half, and finished with a team-high 22 points. This game had everything for Gray, including a nice dunk on Lee, and getting absolutely posterized by Harrison Barnes. Just like the rest of us, Jack Armstrong was loving Aaron Gray's production in this game, which led to this.
Jack Armstrong Quote of the Night:
"PUT HIM IN THE HALL OF FAME MATTY D!!"
Comment of the Night: via ppellico
Refering to Aaron Gray, of course.
"but we should move him to point
wasting his talents inside...................."
Andrea Bargnani Award (LVP): Defense
Moving on from Aaron Gray...
Frankly, the Raptors defense was embarrassing. They were fortunate enough not to get torched in the first half, as Curry & Thompson weren't hitting their shots, despite being left open early and often. In the second half, things were different. The Splash Brothers finally did what they're known for; make wide open threes, and began torching the Raptors. Golden State scored 62 points in the second half, bringing their tally up to 114 for the game, more than the Raptors have scored all year (in regulation).
The key to winning this game was defense, and the Raptors failed in that regard, which was shown by the final score.
Kyle Lowry did not play in tonight's game, due to back spasms.
Landry Fields left the game during half-time and did not return, due to 'flu like symptoms'.
JV, Kleiza and Bargnani are still injured.
Andrew Bogut returned from his ankle injury tonight, played just his fifth game in a Warriors uniform. He had a solid night, scoring 12 points on 6-8 shooting, and grabbing eight rebounds.