Toronto Raptors Fall to 1-3 in DeMar DeRozan’s Homecoming
The Toronto Raptors just don’t have it right now.
Coming off a tough loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Raptors hoped to get back to .500% as they took on the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
But an old friend had different ideas.
In his return to Toronto, DeMar DeRozan refused to let the Bulls waver down the stretch, pouring in a game-high 26 points while also dishing out six assists. As the Raptors looked to make a big final push in the fourth quarter, it was DeRozan who made sure to shut the door on his former team.
“Yeah, he bailed them out because I thought we turned the water off on the other guys,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. “He came in that last run in the fourth and pretty much made all their buckets. I don’t remember any other scorers. I’m sure there were some, maybe, maybe not. I don’t know if there was or not. But he made some tough ones, he made some tough ones, and give him credit, he can do that.”
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This was not his first rodeo and no matter the moment, the 32-year old guard knows full well when its time for him to close.
“Just trying to do my job, especially with my experience, understanding those moments,” DeRozan said following the 111-108 win. “I understand what needs to be done. You know we got kind of stagnant and couldn’t score, those guys went on a run. It’s always my job, especially late games, to close out games, understanding what needs to be done and to getting to my spots and try to make big shots.
“It’s something I’m not shy [about] I know those moments and understand the magnitude of them.”
Meanwhile, the Raptors continue to struggle maintaining consistency, especially on the offensive side of the ball. OG Anunoby led the way in the loss, putting together a 22 point performance, while Fred VanVleet finished the night with 15 points and 17 assists. Despite finishing the night with all five members of the starting lineup in double-figures, the Raptors fell just short at the very end of the game.
The Raptors will look to get back into the win column on Wednesday night when they take on the Indiana Pacers.