Heart of a Champion

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Toronto Raptors Overcome Powell’s Injury, Beat Utah Jazz 101-92

Never under-estimate the heart of a champion.

On the second night of a road back-to-back, at high altitude (yes, an important thing to consider), without Marc Gasol, without Fred VanVleet, with Norman Powell going down 2 minutes into the contest, against a Western Conference powerhouse, the Toronto Raptors still reigned supreme.

“No matter what happens we stick together as a team and we try to work the game,” Pascal Siakam said. “It’s gonna be a long game. There’s gonna be runs. The most important thing is to stay together. Don’t panic and keep executing.”

Never can you count this team out.

No matter the adversity, no matter the circumstance, the Raptors play with a championship-level confidence night in and night out. Never are they out of a game. Never are they rattled by the moment and on Monday night, with their backs against the wall, they threw the pressure right back at the four-seed Utah Jazz en route to a 101-92 victory to improve to 46-18.

Leading the charge tonight was Pascal Siakam who dominated the game from the onset, ending the night with 27 points, 11 boards and coming just two assists shy of a triple-double. Serge Ibaka had a huge game as well, matching Siakam with 27 points, while also grabbing down 13 boards, helping the Raptors finishing the night +18 on the glass. As per usual, Kyle Lowry was up to his usual tricks, finishing with 21 points and seven assists, hitting a key deep three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.

“Our team is unbelievable with just kind of staying in the moment and understanding what we have to do,” Lowry said.

While Gasol was resting on the second night of a back-to-back, the Raptors now turn their focus on the health of Powell who recently returned from a second injury. The Eastern Conference Player of the Week will undergo further testing on Tuesday and with the lengthy lay off, will hopefully be ready to go by Saturday when the Raptors return home to face the Detroit Pistons.

Overshadowing the incredible play and the team’s high character are the injuries and at this point, the Raptors can only hope and pray that once VanVleet and Powell return, the team remains healthy through to the finish line.

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