In a game that was always going to be difficult for the Raptors without Patrick Patterson, the San Antonio Spurs absolutely battered Toronto 110-82. The Raptors looked to have found some offensive rhythm again in the win against the Los Angeles Lakers, but the same struggles that haunted them against Utah, Phoenix, and Portland all showed up again. Without Kyle Lowry’s heroics to bail them out this time, one can only hope this loss is a wake up call in light of some of the cracks that have started to appear.
Save for a brief flurry by Terrence Ross early in the second quarter, the Spurs had this game in complete control right from the jump. San Antonio raced out to a 29-18 lead in the first quarter that actually flatters the Raptors. Without DeMar DeRozan’s 5-of=10 quarter and the Spurs cooling down from the field, the Raptors would’ve been out of striking range already.
Ross (with Lowry’s bench mob) hit a couple of jump shots early in the second quarter to cut the Spurs’ lead to eight, but all that was just delaying the inevitable. Any time the Spurs had Aldridge or Leonard on the court, the Raptors had absolutely no answer on either end. The lead ballooned to 19 to close the half and that was about as good as it would get.
The Raptors went cold to start the third quarter, and with Lowry having an uncharacteristically bad night for the first time in a while, the Raptors simply couldn’t close the gap. Aldridge was unguardable in the paint, and to exacerbate matters, the Raptors’ bigs were continually getting lost in the pick and roll and leaving open shooters. Considering the Raptors already struggle to contain penetration, it was the perfect mix for a disaster. The Spurs led 88-58 after three and we basically had extended garbage time for an entire quarter.
- Lowry and DeRozan were -30 on the night and still played a total of 61 minutes between them. This game was done in the 3rd quarter and Lowry still came out to start the 4th. Not the most egregious minutes management we’ve seen, but it certainly could’ve been better.
- Lowry shot 2-of-9 for six points. He was due, given some of his mammoth performances last month.
- Norman Powell didn’t get into this game until garbage time. DeMarre Carroll was a -20 in 19 minutes and was getting torched defensively by Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors pride themselves on continuity and chemistry but the lack of experimentation can be infuriating.
- Bebe Nogueira is a foul machine. He picked up three fouls in the span of two minutes in the third quarter. Even still, he shows some flashes as a rim protector, but none of him, Pascal Siakam, Jonas Valanciunas, or Jakob Poeltl had any hope of defending Aldridge tonight.
- Terrence Ross is really good. DeMar DeRozan is really good too. 12-of-21 for 26 points for DeMar and 7-of-11 for 17 points for Ross. Ross is going to look nice in Atlanta.
- We miss you, Patrick Patterson.
So the Raptors have lost three of their last four, and now head home to face a tough Utah Jazz team. Come back soon, Patterson.