So the Raptors are now 5-0.
In a game most pegged as a loss just by looking at the schedule (second game of a road back to back against Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook), the Raptors showed some serious cajones just by staying in this game, let alone WINNING.
Seriously, I have to take some time to gather my thoughts, because my mind is failing me as to what even happened in this game. Here's what we know:
- The Raptors had nothing on offence in the 1st half, but played tough defence to hold OKC to 39 points at the break and lead by one.
- Then the defence completely fell apart, but the game oddly sped up and they surrendered more than the entire first half total in the third quarter alone to head into the 4th quarter trailing 81-73.
- With me so far?
- Okay because then the defence tightened up again. After not holding a lead since EARLY in the third quarter, the Raptors kept chipping away at the OKC lead to eventually tie the game at 97, and then take the lead for good on a DeMar DeRozan (All Star, that guy is, a true northern All Star, a gem, a menace to opposition, a gift) layup.
- Then Kevin Durant missed a free throw, Jonas Valanciunas grabbed a rebound and that was all she wrote.
Okay, everyone still with me -- say "aye".
No one particularly played well, but DeAll DeStar had 28 points on 18 shots, and got to the free throw line 15 times. I will plead to other teams to keep sending him to the free throw line, I really appreciate it. Jonas Valanciunas came up big in the final frame, disturbing shots in the paint and creating havoc with his verticality -- he ended with 17 points on 9 shots and 11 rebounds.
Oh, and Cory Joseph played almost the entirety of the 4th quarter and was masterful. He was easily a game-leading +22 on the night and his defence on the OKC guards was something we haven't seen in these parts in ages.
OKC's bench is kind of terrible when Waiters and/or Augustin don't have it going, as they managed to lose this one despite getting 22 and 16 from Russell Westbrook and 27 points on 18 shots from Kevin Durant.
If I can complain about something tonight, the Raptors only had 14 assists on their 33 shots, and they resorted to hero-ball a little too often, but they won this game so who cares.
Okay, I'm going to go sit in a corner and gather my thoughts. I swear I've had nothing to drink. DeMar.