Raptors’ win streak snapped
SAN ANTONIO—The Toronto Raptors only could nod their heads in admiration as their five-game winning streak came to an abrupt end last night against the San Antonio Spurs.
Tim Duncan scored 15 points as San Antonio rolled to a 100-80 victory over Toronto, snapping the Raptors’ longest winning streak in three years.
Kawhi Leonard had nine points and 10 rebounds.
“I’ve been on that other side; I know what the composure is—experience,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.
“This team has been together forever,” he noted. “You got Hall-of-Famer[s] in Ginobili, and Duncan and Parker, and it’s a huge difference.
“We’re trying to learn to keep that composure through those stretches and do the right things; make the right plays offensively and defensively.”
The Raptors had difficulty accomplishing those tasks from the start.
San Antonio’s starters averaged just 24 minutes but still managed to outscore their counterparts 54-25.
None of Toronto’s starters scored in double figures. Starting guards DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon were each 3-for-9 from the field in scoring eight and seven points, respectively.
Alan Anderson and Amir Johnson each had 12 points for Toronto.
Duncan had six rebounds but was just 6-for-11 from the field in only 27 minutes as San Antonio’s balanced attack wore down Toronto.
Every active Spur scored and eight had at least eight points.
“It took us a while to get going,” Duncan conceded. “We’re going to have times like that, have nights like that.
“You can attribute it to whatever you want to attribute it to,” he remarked. “Bottom line is we got it turned around and going the way we wanted it to go in the second half.”
San Antonio closed the third quarter on a 13-4 run to wrest control of the game after Johnson’s 17-foot jumper pulled the Raptors within 57-54 with 4:24 left in the period.
San Antonio outworked Toronto during the run, including two offensive rebounds on the same play that led to a double-digit lead.
Parker missed a floater and Leonard followed his own three-point miss with a one-handed dunk to give San Antonio a 63-53 lead with 2:38 to go in the quarter.
“They got a couple of offensive rebounds, we made a couple of turnovers, and they made a couple of threes,” Calderon said.
“They took it to 10 or 11 points and we couldn’t get back in [the game].
“They played a little bit better down the stretch and that was it,” he added.
Leonard matched his season-high in rebounds, and also had two assists and three steals.
“Huge, huge for us,” Ginobili said of Leonard. “With his length and ability to read situations, he can get a lot of deflections and steals that give you a good lift in some parts of the game.”
The Raptors kept the game close early despite some poor shooting.
San Antonio shot 58 percent in the first quarter compared to 38 percent for Toronto, but the Raptors trailed only 20-18 by taking nine more field goal attempts.
Terrence Ross’ 19-foot jumper gave Toronto its first lead of the game at 29-27 with seven minutes left in the first half.
Elsewhere in the NBA, Houston beat Minnesota 87-84, New Orleans downed Orlando 97-94, Cleveland shaded Washington 87-84, Miami bounced Charlotte 105-92, Atlanta topped Detroit 126-199 (double OT), and Philadelphia upended Memphis 99-89
Milwaukee beat Brooklyn 108-93, Denver upended the L.A. Lakers 126-114, New York edged Phoenix 99-97, Golden State downed Utah 94-83, and Portland dumped Sacramento 109-91
Chicago at Indiana was postponed due to weather.