Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another loss for Raptors

TORONTO—Toronto Raptors’ head coach Dwane Casey knows his starters can’t play the entire game.
But after yesterday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, he probably wishes they could.

The Nuggets’ reserves came off the bench to outscore their Raptors counterparts 72-16 as Denver pulled away in the fourth quarter for a comfortable 112-98 win before 16,290 fans at Air Canada Centre.
“Our bench has got to give us something,” Casey told reporters after Toronto (6-10) lost its third-straight.
“Our guys [starters] can’t play for 48 [minutes] so we’ve got to get production from our bench,” he stressed.
“The guys coming in have got to develop a toughness, a resilience of getting stops,” Casey noted. “And, it starts on the defensive end.
“In the second half, they shot it well but we didn’t make them feel us.”
The 72 bench points conceded is the worst in Raptors’ history—exceeding the 69 points surrendered to the Chicago Bulls in a loss on Jan. 25, 2006.
Diminutive guard Nate Robinson led the way for Denver (10-6) with 23 points off the bench.
The 5’9” veteran hit five three-pointers on the afternoon, including back-to-back shots from beyond the arc with just over two minutes to go, as the Nuggets coasted to their sixth-straight win.
In addition to Robinson’s team-high 23 points, three other Denver players had double-digit point totals off the bench.
Rudy Gay, meanwhile, led the way for the Raptors with 23 points.
Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Finishing 1-3 on their longest homestand of the season, the Raptors now head out West for the next week, visiting the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, and L.A. Lakers.
“Personally, I’m frustrated. Period,” said Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan, who finished with 17 points.
“We’ve just got to figure it out and turn it around on the road.
“It’s correctable, but we shouldn’t have to keep doing the same thing over and over before we realize that we are doing something wrong,” he added.
“We have to understand what we’re doing out the gate and correct it.”

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