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Dial 905: Raptors storming as season finale approaches

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Led by Jordan Loyd and Wade Baldwin IV, the 905 have won three straight and are trying to ride momentum into the playoffs.

Many small moves have affected the trajectory of the Raptors 905 this year, as is usually the case for a G League team. With the unpredictability of roster call-ups, two-way contracts, and more — bringing in talent that can mesh into your system is of the utmost importance.

Recently, this is where the Raptors 905 have found success. Take Wade Baldwin IV as the latest example. After being traded three times in five days — first from Portland to Cleveland, then from the Cavaliers to the Rockets, then finally from Houston to Indiana — Baldwin IV was unceremoniously left out on the waiver wire by the Paces. A couple weeks after that waiving on February 8, the Raptors 905 picked him up. Since that time, he’s been nothing short of instrumental to the team’s success.

Just this week, Baldwin poured in 74 combined points in three games, as the 905 went 3-0 and continue on an upward swing heading to the post-seasons — which is now just two weeks away. Let’s dive into his production a little more, as we dial up the last seven days.

Wednesday, March 6 at Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Final:
Raptors 113
Vipers 97

In a Wednesday win over Rio Grande Valley, the 905 rode some hot hands to a convincing victory. Baldwin IV had the team-high, going for 25 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, but Jordan Loyd and Josh Adams each pitched in with 23 points each.

Even better, Duane Notice had six three pointers toward a 20-point night. As a team, the 905 shot 16-for-41 from distance, as they built an 18-point lead at halftime and rode it out the rest of the way.

There was also dominance on the glass, as Derek Cooke Jr. grabbed a franchise record 22 rebounds while adding 11 points for a monster double-double.

Friday, March 8 at Austin Spurs

Final:
Raptors 116
Spurs 113

Momentum continued as the team traveled to Austin to take on the Spurs, with a potential playoff clinching win on the line. This one was a lot closer than their previous game — the 905 had a ten-point lead after one quarter, but the Spurs responded quickly to tie it at halftime.

The game came down to execution in the fourth, as the 905 had the critical stretch with a 14-0 run, led by their backcourt. Jordan Loyd was excellent in the win, as he scored 38 points — including 16-for-16 from the charity stripe — while adding five rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Baldwin was no slouch either, finishing with 26 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.

The win secured at least a playoff berth for the 905, who have higher aspirations but will take the foothold nonetheless.

Monday, March 11 vs. Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Final:
Mad Ants 82
Raptors 112

Surprise surprise, in the final game of the week, the Raptors 905 were led by... their guard play. Baldwin’s influence built up the production of the 1-through-3 spots yet again, as his 23 points was bested only by, you guessed it, Jordan Loyd’s 24. Duane Notice had 12 points at the point guard spot, adding up to another absurdly strong night for the 905 shooters.

The 11-for-29 night from three was again a difference-maker for the Raptors, especially considering Fort Wayne shot just 37% from the field overall.

This one was never that close. The 905 won the second quarter alone by 15 points, and that was before a game-breaking fourth quarter that they won 31-10(!). True, Fort Wayne has struggled this year, as they sit just 20-25 as of writing this. The 905 took care of business and then some, though, improving to 28-18 and still looking strong in the Eastern Conference’s third-place position.

Now, just four games remaining before March 23’s regular season finale, as the 905 get even closer to playoff basketball.