A fighting chance

The Toronto Raptors played game 1 of their first back-to-back of the season in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors. They played behind most of the night and couldn’t pull out the win, dropping their 7th game 105-106.

It was an uphill battle for Toronto. They were outscored 87-72 in the first 3 quarters. Despite holding Steph Curry to 11 points, they gave up 18 second chance points. Andrew Wiggins led the team with 17 and Eric Paschall added 15 off the bench. In the loss, the Raptors second unit was outscored 46-23. The Warriors have won 6 of their last 8, with Curry averaging 30.6 points.

Toronto had an opportunity win. Kyle Lowry put the team in a position to steal the game, scoring 16 of his 17 points the 4th quarter. They held Golden State to 25% shooting in the final 12 minutes, but couldn’t close it out in the final minute. A late foul by Lowry sent Damian Lee to the line, where he made both free throws to secure the win.

With the ball in his hands, Pascal Siakam had the final drive to win the game. It went in and out, and Toronto failed to capitalize on their 33 point 4th quarter comeback.

In the loss, Siakam continued to lead the teams offensive attack. He led all players with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Since losing to Boston, Siakam has averaged 24 points in 3 losing efforts. The upward trend has been a welcome sight and continues to a positive focus for the team, but the record is hard to ignore. After Sunday’s loss, Siakam addressed their 2-7 start and acknowledged its hard not to look at because it’s not something they’re used to.

For the first time this season, Nick Nurse started the game with small ball. Fred VanVleet had 21 points but it was a quiet night for Norman Powell; he put up 9 points on 3 of 8 shooting in his second consecutive start. OG Anunoby struggled with 10 points on 33.3% shooting.

Terrence Davis and Malachi Flynn also had a rough outing off the bench. Davis scored 3 points and Flynn went 0 for 3. Chris Boucher continues to be the most consistent Raptor from the second unit. In 23 minutes, he had 15 points, 6 rebounds and 6 blocks. He is averaging 13.5 points on 57.4% shooting.

Game Notes: Toronto left too many points at the line. Despite getting 22 free throw attempts, they only converted 14 of those points. With the game coming down to a 1 point difference, free throws can (and did) determine the outcome.

Next up… Toronto faces Damian Lillard and the 5-4 Portland Trailblazers. Tip off is 9:30pm at Moda Center.

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