The Raptors 905 bounced back with a win against the Motor City Cruise on Thursday night, thanks to Reggie Perry and the hometown kid Gabe Brown who carried the offense for the most part.
Cruise’s Devontae Cacok, a former San Antonio Spurs player, went toe-to-toe with Perry early on, but Stanley Umude gave the scare for the Raptors 905, as their late rally fell short, allowing the Raptors 905 to escape with a 105-99 win.
The win gave the 905 their third regular season win, tied with the Windy City Bulls for the eighth spot in the standings. It was a much-needed win for coach Eric Khoury and his team, as they can’t dig a hole they can’t get out of, as the team should be more than good enough to be a playoff team.
An amazing performance from Reggie Perry as he led the way in the @Raptors905 win! Perry finished with an impressive:— NBA G League (@nbagleague) January 13, 2023
2 STL pic.twitter.com/TdW6vVQzMU
Regular Season Game 7: Perry puts the team on his back
Raptors 905: Dalano Banton, Ron Harper Jr., Gabe Brown, Reggie Perry, Kenny Wooten
Motor City Cruise: Keifer Sykes, Trayvon Palmer, Stanley Umude, David Nwaba, Devontae Cacok
Raptors 905: Ron Harper Jr. (TW), Dalano Banton (NBA)
Motor City Cruise: N/A
Reggie Perry dominated the Motor City Cruise with 34 points and eight rebounds while shooting an efficient 10-for-15 from the field. Hometown kid Gabe Brown had his best game in a while, chipping in 20 points and seven rebounds.
The Raptors’ assignees could have had a better game tonight and lacked the aggression we saw these past few games. It could be because they are playing their third game in four nights. Dalano Banton finished with five points, ten rebounds, and eight steals. He made two of his first three shots but never made a shot for the rest of the game, going 2-for-8 for the night. Ron Harper Jr. had an off night, too, only getting seven points on 2-for-12 shooting. He missed a lot of shots in the paint, and most of them were just short. Harper Jr. added seven rebounds and four assists.
smooth catch-and-shoot turnaround middy by Dalano Banton pic.twitter.com/tfhK4FW2EK— JD Quirante (@jdkeyrants) January 13, 2023
Motor City Cruise was a problem early and often for the Raptors 905, as he was hard to stop once he was in the paint. He had a game-high of 28 points and nine rebounds, but Stanley Umude gave the Raptors 905 a lot of trouble to secure a win late in the game. Umude caught fire in the fourth, dropping one clutch trifecta after another, scoring 21 points on six three-pointers in the fourth. He finished with 26 points while going 7-for-12 from behind the arc.
The game was different from the typical run-and-gun we’ve seen over the past four games, as both teams struggled to score in several pockets of the game. It was 73-65 in favour of the Raptors 905 entering the final frame, and both teams were shooting subpar while turning the ball over more often than their coaches would like it.
Jeff Dowtin Jr. missed this game as he was with the main club, while Saben Lee and Sterling Brown are both on a 10-day call-up with the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.
The Raptors 905 started the game with an excellent defensive effort, holding the Cruise to just five points for the first seven minutes. Hometown kid Gabe Brown started hot, knocking off a trifecta, and followed it up with a couple of highlight-reel dunks, helping the visitors build a 16-5 lead. Cruise’s Jaime Echenique came in around this time. His big presence changed the complexion of the game, alleviating the pressure on Cacok and letting him flourish, as Cacock poured in 10 of his 12 points after Echenique checked in, bringing the Cruise back from the brink of a blowout, cutting the Raptors 905 lead to 26-18 after one.
BACK-TO-BACK slams from Gabe Brown! @Raptors905 pic.twitter.com/8BPAXxub5o— NBA G League (@nbagleague) January 13, 2023
The Raptors 905’s bench failed to sustain the two-way intensity of the starters, and even with Banton on the floor, the offense looked lethargic, with Umude’s first (of many) three-pointers putting the Cruise within 33-30. After a couple of possessions, coach Khoury had no choice but to bring Perry and Harper Jr. back, and the latter promptly drained his only three-pointer of the game to give the Raptors 905 some breathing room. Perry went back to work and turned it into a 7-0 run to give them a 40-30 lead with about five minutes left in the first half.
The Cruise rolled up their sleeves and put more pressure defensively, sending the faltering Raptors 905 half-court offense. Worse, the Raptors 905’s defense continued to slip, and the Cruise out-hustled and outworked the visitors en route to an 18-5 finish, putting the Raptors 905 behind by three at the half.
The Raptors 905’s excellent start to the game felt like eons ago, as the Cruise played more competent to start the second half. Perry and Cacok traded punches (figuratively), with his layup giving the Raptors 905 the lead back at 55-53. Cacok gave the Cruise the lead one last time, converting on a hook shot, putting the home team up, 57-55.
.@AaronEpps21 with the cleanup job and he's on the board pic.twitter.com/QScOCkmqjZ— Raptors 905 (@Raptors905) January 13, 2023
Aaron Epps finally made his Raptors 905 debut and injected energy into the team, with his activity on both ends bothering Cacok. The unlikely bench crew of Epps, Darryl Morsell, and Ryan Hawkins provided the firepower as the Raptors 905 went on a 10-2 run, giving the Raptors 905 a 65-59 lead. Brown hit back-to-back threes, giving them a 73-65 lead entering the final frame.
The momentum was clearly on the Raptors 905’s side for most of the fourth quarter, with Cacok held scoreless. Perry was laying waste on the Cruise’s defense, giving his best to put the game away. Morsell’s jumper gave the Raptors 905 a commanding 95-81 lead with 2:30 left in the game. That’s when Umude, holding his controller, leaned forward from his chair and took the game seriously.
Umude made it rain with three trifectas over the next minute, going on a personal 12-4 run to cut the Raptors 905 lead to 99-93 with 35 seconds left. The Cruise sent Perry to the line, making both, but Kyler Edwards nailed a three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining. They sent Perry again to the line, making both, but Umude came back with a three-pointer, cutting the lead to 103-99 with seven seconds left. The Cruise sent Brown to the line, making both, and finally, Umude missed a three-pointer, allowing the Raptors 905 to escape with a 105-99 win.
Up Next: The Raptors 905 visit Justin Champagnie and the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Sunday