Full Team Effort


Fred VanVleet Shines as Raptors Take Second Game of Back-to-Back

There must be a good basketball team somewhere in there.

Despite the absence of Pascal Siakam, the Toronto Raptors were able to secure their fifth road victory of the season, improving to an impressive 5-1 away from the friendly confines of the Scotiabank Arena.

It may be as simple as the Raptors are still just getting used to be being back at home, but on the road, they have been a completely different team. On Thursday night, the Raptors maintained their road dominance, led by an incredible 32 point performance from Fred VanVleet, Toronto shot 42 percent from long range, and dominated the Philadelphia 76ers in second chance points and on the fast break.

“When we come out and Freddy’s getting some buckets and making plays like that, I think that automatically gives us a boost of spirit and confidence,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse following the 115-109 victory. “[He was] just all over the place. We know that he’s got it going and he’s getting past people and he’s making some shots… I think that was a big spark the way he came out tonight for sure.”

VanVleet gave the Raptors the boost they needed, but the supporting cast was their to pitch in all night.

Chris Boucher came up big off the bench, scoring 17 points while grabbing six boards. OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. both finished the night with 20 points apiece, while rookie Scottie Barnes had yet another strong performance, adding 13 points and grabbing down nine boards.

“It felt good, I feel like I’ve been searching to get that feeling again, feeling like you’re doing the right thing and in the right spot,” said Boucher. “I’ve been missing that feeling. It felt good to get it back today. I’m not satisfied. These 10 games I played like I couldn’t play or wasn’t the player I’m supposed to [be]. Step by step, but I’m definitely happy about today and I’m gonna keep getting better at it.”

Although the Raptors faced a depleted Sixers team, these are quite simply, the type of games that playoff caliber teams must be able to secure. The Raptors did exactly that and will now look to start a new win streak when they take on the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.


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