Defensive Statement

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Toronto Raptors Smother Wizards, Pick Up Second Straight Victory

What a refreshing change.

For the majority of the Toronto Raptors competitive window, it has been the defense and the effort level on the defensive side of the ball that very much became the organization’s calling card.

That same defense has been a rare sight so far this season but on Sunday night, the Raptors brought their vintage, smothering defense to the office against the Washington Wizards. Holding the Wizards to a putrid 41 percent shooting and limiting them to just eight made three-pointers, the Raptors picked up their second straight victory by a score of 102-90.

“That’s all we do at practice,” said Boucher after scoring 14 points in a strong effort off the bench. “The last few practices that we had — after we lost a game, I think we just didn’t show up, I think against Boston, and Memphis too — since then all we do is defence.”

Pascal Siakam led the way for the Raptors, putting forth a 31 point and six rebound effort, while four other members of the team finished the night in double figures. Precious Achiuwa, starting in place of the injured Khem Birch, scored 10 points while grabbing 14 boards, while Scottie Barnes scored 11 points and picked up six boards.

The bench in particular, led by Boucher’s two-way efforts, set a clear tone early and controlled the game from the very get-go.

“I thought that group that started set the tone, but I also thought the guys who came off the bench brought the same kind of energy and maybe even a little more,” coach Nick Nurse said. “That’s kind of what we’re hoping for it to look like. It was a good, all-around team effort defensively.”

As the Raptors continue to push their way back towards a .500% record, they will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

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