Trent Jr. Scores 31 Points as Toronto Raptors Get Outlasted by Thunder
The Toronto Raptors have now been outrebounded in 14 straight games.
That’s sort of how this month has gone as the Raptors finish up March with a putrid 1-13 record as their slide down the Eastern Conference ladder continues.
With Kyle Lowry out with a foot infection – of all things – the Raptors were -18 in the second half as they fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 113-103. One of the few bright spots on the night was newly acquired Gary Trent Jr. who poured in a team-high 31-points in the loss.
And as the losses continue to mount, the Raptors uphill battle only becomes more and more unsurmountable.
“We’re fighting uphill,” said Fred VanVleet, who tallied 18 points in the loss. “You know things like, want to be in a game. And tonight what you would think would be our three best players with me Pascal [Siakam] and OG, you know, all trying to recover from COVID, obviously, and like, you can feel we all are hitting the same conditioning wall at the same time, and so there’s spurts where we play high-level basketball and spurts where we suck … it’s hard to put your finger on what exactly it is because there’s 1,000,001 things going wrong out there but we gotta figure it out somehow.”
Things have definitely not been busy.
The Raptors had a rough start out of the gate, then they struggled to maintain consistency, had a mini-spurt, and now have essentially collapsed. The team has lacked energy and has seemingly struggled to find any answers.
“I think we were times where we didn’t block out, lack of physicality and they went around us and there were times where we did and then we didn’t go get the ball, right? It’s kind of a two-part job. You got to tag your guy with a block out and then you got to go get the ball,” said Nurse. “I just thought we needed to go after it a little bit harder for the most part but yeah it was a big, big problem tonight. I think other than the numbers that it played out it was, it was a spirit, it was disheartening a little bit, because we were playing some … really good defence for lots of stretches of that game and they were walking away with two points on a putback or even three sometimes.”
With the loss, the Raptors sit a game and a half back of the second last spot in the conference and with their playoff hopes quickly fading, draft positioning may soon become the priority.