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Dial 905: Raptors split a pair with playoffs looming

A rough loss to Canton, a return from Chris Boucher, and the 905 get two steps closer to learning their playoff path.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

With roster churn now out of sight from the rearview mirror, the Raptors 905 are all gears on headed for the post-season. This week, the team continued predictably great guard play, with some mixed results — going 1-1 against Canton and Delaware.

While losing to Canton, a team under .500, will count as a disappointment, it helps set the 905 (29-19) for a difficult close to the season, where they’ll play two road games against the Eastern Conference’s second-best Lakeland Magic (30-18).

First place in the division is now out of reach, but the 905 still have the ability to earn a first round home game as one of the G League’s six “wild cards”. Next week’s games will go far in deciding that, as the Raptors sit one game behind Lakeland. In the end, 12 teams qualify for playoffs and play three rounds of single-elimination games before the best-of-three G League Final.

So, how did the newfound two step of Jordan Loyd and Wade Baldwin IV manifest itself this week? Let’s run it back in Dial 905.

Thursday, March 14 vs. Canton Charge

Final (OT):
Charge 104
Raptors 100

Playing on the big stage at Scotiabank Arena and with their assignee Malcolm Miller in tow, the 905 will certainly chalk this loss to the 21-27 Canton Charge as a disappointment. What makes matters worse is how the loss happened.

With the game tied at halftime, the 905 built a lead on the back of a massive third quarter, where they won 35-15 thanks to solid play from Baldwin. The shooting guard would lead the team with 22 points, but his 8-for-19 line portends how this game finished.

The Charge answered the 905’s 20-point third quarter win with a 20-point quarter win of their own in the fourth, sparked by Jaron Blossomgame (cool name), who had 20 of his 28 points in the second half.

In overtime, the Charge outscored the 905 8-4, sealing the win.

The 905 got support lines from Jordan Loyd, who had 18 points and MiKyle McIntosh, who had 17. As a team, though, they shot just 24% (11-for-45) from three and 40% overall. Your light in the darkness, though? This Josh Adams dunk.

Saturday, March 16 at Delaware Blue Coats

Final:
Raptors 117
Blue Coats 104

In an effort to run back old times after a tough loss (note: this is my imagined reasoning and almost certainly not correct), the 905 brought Chris Boucher down on assignment for Saturday’s game against Delaware. The big man didn’t disappoint, scoring a game-high 30 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, and leading the 905 to a 13-point win over the Blue Coats.

While the game was tight through three quarters, the 905 won this one with a solid finish, out-scoring Delaware by 12 in the fourth. They opened the frame on a 10-4 run, then rode their post play the rest of the way. Besides Boucher’s 30, MiKyle McIntosh had 25 points off the bench, shooting 10-for-15 — a truly old school performance with new school skill from a pair of centres.

At the guard spot, the 905 also got a 20/10 double-double from Jordan Loyd. Malcolm Miller had 12 points, four rebounds, and three steals while down on assignment.

The 905 conclude their regular season with games in Lakeland, Florida on Friday and Saturday, before finding out their matchup in the first round of the playoffs.