With Lowry Out, Raptors Let Another Game Slip in the Fourth Quarter
It wasn’t enough, but wasn’t bad.
On a night where the Toronto Raptors were without Kyle Lowry, Chris Boucher, and Gary Trent Jr., they hung tough against the Western Conference powerhouse Utah Jazz. Ultimately, the Raptors weren’t able to seal the deal after yet another tough fourth quarter en route to a 106-102 defeat.
But as often has been the case down the stretch, the Raptors received another glimpse of the future as 2020 second round pick Jalen Harris received some nice game minutes on the NBA stages.
With his development somewhat stunted by the shortened G League season, Harris has continued to work diligently on his game and earned some key minute in the second quarter of last night’s game. He would nail the only shot he would take – a three-pointer nonetheless – and showed great poise and assertiveness leaving his head coach very impressed.
“The expectations now are for us to see him a little bit [more],” Nick Nurse said. “I think he did a good job out there. It was just a brief spell but I could see his minutes going up. We need to see him play. I think he looked good out there, played confident. Didn’t make any mistakes really. So, just wanted to ride it with some of the guys that played tonight, but I could see maybe tomorrow give him more minutes for sure … and going forward.”
Outside of Harris, the Raptors received 30 points from Fred VanVleet and 10 points from rookie Malachi Flynn who started in place of Lowry. Khem Birch had himself yet another nice game as well putting forth 17 points, grabbing 10 boards and dishing out six assists in the process.
“Coach (Nick) Nurse told me today to work on my ball-handling and to go coast-to-coast or even just be a threat in transition,” Birch said Saturday before the Raptors played the Utah Jazz. “So it’s stuff I’ve worked on but I’ve never implemented it into my game. But the fact that the coaching staff here allows me to do that type of stuff, you’re right, it is like starting over again.”
With under 10 games remaining, the Raptors chances for a play-in tournament remain very slim, but as long as they continue to receive production from their young guns, the end of this strange year will be a success!
Onto the Los Angeles Lakers next!