Outclassed in Indy

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Raptors Defense Continues to Struggle, Drop Final Game of Road Trip

This just felt like a long road trip.

Set to return back home for nine of their next 10 games, the Raptors had quite the tumultuous 2-4 trip away from the friendly confines of the Scotiabank Arena.

At many points, they were simply outclassed.

Outside of their matchup against the sputtering Sacramento Kings, no game looked pretty. The same can be said about last night as the Raptors dropped the final game of the road trip to the Indiana Pacers by a score of 114-97. After keeping it close in the first quarter, the Raptors defense began to fall apart as it has time and time again throughout the early goings of the season.

Not only was it the lack of defense, the effort level continued to wane as the Raptors simply wanted to get back home.

“It was more at the other end where they were just out-working us. We gave up 17 offensive rebounds, that’s a problem,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse after Friday’s game. “I just thought, at least in the first half, we were just a half-step slow either missing help or over-helping, not being able to get back by a half-step to get some closeouts. I think there were some players who we probably could’ve been able to control but they just got by us and got into the paint and when they missed they got a lot of offensive rebounds and took the ball a lot.”

There wasn’t a ton of good on this night.

Fred VanVleet led the way for the Raptors with 26 points, while Scottie Barnes had yet another strong showing, putting up 17 points and grabbing down seven boards. Siakam put together a 17 point, 12 rebound double-double in the loss.

“He was aggressive,” Nurse said of Barnes. “I think he came over to me and said, ‘Coach, I think I can get to the front of the rim.’ So I was like, ‘Go, keep going, keep getting big and try to finish them’ and he did a good job. He’s got angles on them, he made some shots and he got to the free-throw line, some, got an and-one one time so pretty good night for him, offensively.”

At 9-11, the Raptors will hope to get back on track as they kick off a seven game home stand against the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

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