DeMar DeRozan’s 25 Points Leads Spurs Past Raptors in Heartbreaker
It’s always a party when DeMar DeRozan makes his return to Toronto.
The Toronto Raptors legend came back to the city that watched him enter the NBA as a 19 year old kid out of USC and grow into an NBA star. With the lights shining bright squarely on DeRozan, The Kid from Compton put on a show against his former team. Behind 25 points and a strong second half performance, DeRozan willed the Spurs on a 17-0 run in the fourth quarter en route to a comeback victory over the reigning champions.
“We stopped playing,” said the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, who finished the night with a season high 15 assists. “We stopped being aggressive. We stopped being assertive. They got more aggressive. They got faster and we missed shots, too …A lot happened and it was all spiralling downhill.”
In a game that looked oddly similar to their contest against the Portland Trailblazers earlier in the week, the Raptors had a stranglehold on the game and led by as much as 14 in the fourth quarter. Very quickly, they watched it all fall apart as a late game push to win it failed, spelling a 105-104 defeat.
“It says a lot especially against a great team,” said DeRozan following the win, commenting on how important the victory was for his squad. “You always want to start off fast, but they threw a different look at me that no one threw this year, kind of corralling me, trapping me, so it’s kind of like Floyd Mayweather: first couple of rounds you feel it out and attack after that.”
On the Raptors side, it wasn’t all gloom and dude.
As the team continues to get healthier, Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell returned to the lineup and Marc Gasol is expected to follow suit shortly. Powell was impressive in his return, finishing the game with 20 points, while Siakam struggled to work his rust off, totalling 15 points, albeit on 6-for-17 shooting.
“I feel like I kind of lost my rhythm a little bit,” Siakam commented on his performance. “I wasn’t able to get back into it. It’s just going to take a little bit, I’m sure. . . I felt I could have been way more aggressive.”
While the loss itself stings, but the fact that the team is finally starting to regain full health is far more important.