Falling Flat

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Raptors Defense Collapses in Kyle Lowry’s Return Against Pacers

The Toronto Raptors follow up a nice team win with an absolute dud.

Not the best defensive showing that’s for sure.

In Kyle Lowry’s return to the lineup after a short absence, the Raptors were absolutely lit up on the defensive side of the ball by the Indiana Pacers. Behind 36 points from Malcolm Brogdon, the Pacers shot 51% from the field and 41% from long range en route to a 129-114 victory.

“Teams like that, when we’re playing back to back, they’re going to come out and give us everything they have at the start because they don’t want to lose two games in a row,” said Norman Powell, who finished the night with 24 points on 8-for-19 shooting from the field.

It was a frustrating night which was punctuated with a Lowry ejection and a rough fourth quarter in which the Raptors were a terrible -14. Scoring just 17 points in the pivotal final frame, the Raptors shot a putrid 41% for the game and fell to 7-10 as they continue their climb towards a playoff spot.

“We just weren’t back (on defence) and we just weren’t taking good enough shots to give our defence a chance, and our defence wasn’t quite ready enough, so that’s it,” head coach Nick Nurse said following the loss.

Fred VanVleet scored a game-high 25 points while Lowry mustered up 12 points on 2-for-11 shooting in his return from a toe injury. OG Anunoby was largely kept in check after a huge performance on Sunday.

The Milwaukee Bucks are next up for the Raptors.

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