The Toronto Raptors were back at the Air Canada Centre tonight to play the New Orleans Pelicans. The team was without Amir Johnson due to a right ankle sprain that happened before the road trip. He managed to play through the injury for the stretch of away games but he finally took a seat on the bench tonight to put his ankle to rest. This meant that Patrick Patterson had his first appearance as starter for the Raptors.
Coming off a slew of slow starts on the road trip, it was a great to see Toronto take a 23-13 lead early in the first quarter. Kyle Lowry was hot and opened the game with 7 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Toronto shot 63% in the first quarter and closed the quarter with an 11-point lead.
Toronto’s second quarter was sloppy. What started as an amazing shooting night turned into a brick city as the team fell to a low 22% FG in the second. This allowed the Pelicans to fight their way back into the game and close the half tied at 49.
The second half started with both teams trading points back and forth, but half way through the third the Raps regained the lead. DeRozan and Patterson were the Raptors' designated shooters as they scored 9 and 10 points respectively. But it was all for not as the Raptors sat back at multiples times during the fourth to have their lead be taken away for a second time.
I would not qualify this win as a pretty one, but the Raptors did manage to put it together late to take their last lead to finish the game with a 108-101 win. Overall, I saw sloppy handles, and at times a complete lack of effort but a win nonetheless, and I’ll take it.
Patrick Patterson finished the game with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists and Kyle Lowry was three rebounds shy of a triple double with 19 points, a solid 12 assists and 7 rebounds.
Anthony Davis had 19 and 7 in the loss for the Pelicans, who also got a very nice performance from the off-and-on Tyreke Evans. He had 23 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds.
Sarah’s Eye: Tyler Hansbrough has his mishaps once in a while but I think he is finding his groove again. Hopefully next game he will be a well oiled machine...