Toronto Raptors Come Out Sloppy At Home, Fall to the Thunder
It’s safe to say that the second night of back-to-backs tend to be incredibly sloppy.
As the season long theme has been, the Toronto Raptors looked sloppy throughout the night and sluggish down the stretch on Sunday night, less than 24 hours removed from absolutely dominating the Boston Celtics on the road. Fatigued and undermanned, the Raptors allowed an injured Oklahoma City Thunder team to remain in the game all evening and it would end up costing them.
Behind a career-high 32 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and an incredible performance from Chris Paul, the Thunder routed the Raptors by a score of 98-97. Gilgeous-Alexander’s scoring total set a new record for most points scored by a Canadian against the Raptors.
“Did you tell him that? Oh man, we ain’t going to hear the end of that,” Paul said following the win after hearing the stat. “He’s been excited to come back. Everybody here in Canada, know you all got a real one. He loves home, he loves home.”
The 21-year old Canadian could not help but grin.
“I did not know that,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “That’s cool though. But all of it, honestly, wouldn’t have meant anything if we didn’t win, that was the best feeling.”
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse could not help but tip his cap to the Canadian phenom following the game.
“He played just how he’s been playing,” Nurse said. “What I said was his first step is amazingly quick, and he slows down at the end. He blasts in there and slows down and manoeuvres around whatever’s coming at him. I thought he made a good (last basket) there.”
On the Raptors front, the team falls to 22-11, and 3-3 since their latest string of injuries. Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet put up 20 points a piece, while the Raptors received a strong contribution from Patrick McCaw yet again. Terence Davis also came up big scoring 11 points in the defeat.
“That’s a good team and on a back-to-back, it’s going to be a little sluggish out there,” Nurse said. “I thought we played pretty hard, I was proud of how hard we played.”
A rough loss to take and a game that despite the sloppiness, the Raptors should have had. It’s onto the next one from here as the Raptors will now take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.