Toronto Raptors Use Monstrous First Half to Roll to Seventh Straight Win
Despite a 49-point third quarter outburst, the Utah Jazz were unable to overcome what was the best half in Toronto Raptors franchise history.
Led by a strong 35 point performance from Pascal Siakam, the Raptors took a 77-37 lead into the break and held onto a 130-110 victory, marking their seventh straight win. Fred VanVleet pitched in with 21 points and 11 assists of his own while Serge Ibaka came alive in the second half of his first game back from injury, finishing with 13 points.
“You’re just mad,” said Siakam, who finished with a season-low 10 points on 4-for-22 shooting against the Magic on Friday. “I’m mad at myself as a competitor. I’ve always been that way. You understand that there’s bad games and you’re going to have games where shots are not going to fall. But at the same time, coming into the next game, as a competitor, you always have that mentality to get back to it. You want to get on the floor. I wanted to play yesterday. That’s how bad I wanted it.”
The Raptors shot the ball at a 52-percent clip, including 53-percent from long range against a top-five defense in the entire league. The Raptors also dished out 36 assists in the win.
“We shouldn’t have had any lack of focus coming into a place like this,” Mike Conley said. “This is a team we know is playing at a championship level. We didn’t match their energy at all. It just was kind of a snowball effect and everybody got down.
“They’re tough, they’re really tough. They just play so well together.”
Sitting at 15-4, the Raptors will host the Miami Heat on Tuesday before welcoming James Harden and the Houston Rockets to town on the 5th. The expectation is that Kyle Lowry will be back in the fold at some point during this mini-home stretch.