TORONTO – Pascal Siakam just missed a triple in his turn at point guard, Toronto got off to a warm start and the short-handed Raptors beat the Charlotte Hornets 125-113 on Tuesday.
With Fred VanVleet sidelined with a sore right knee, Siakam started at point guard. He had 24 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, while Gary Trent jr. submitted a season high of 32 points.
Anunoby had 24 points, while Chris Boucher had 12 points, Malachi Flynn converted 11, and rookie Dalano Banton had 10 points for the Raptors (23-22), who also missed Scottie Barnes (right wrist swelling). .
The Raptors also lost early to Justin Champagnie. He and PJ Washington were both thrown out for a handshake with 1:46 left in the first quarter.
Lamelo Ball had 25 points to lead the Hornets (26-22).
Two days after trailing Portland by an almighty 34 points in the first half, the Raptors looked like another team out of the gate. They amassed an early lead of 18 points and recorded a season high of 76 points in the first half.
Ball scored on a running dunk and swung off the edge with one hand, the highlight of a Hornets’ 10-0 run that pulled them to within three points. But the Raptors withstood the storm, and then Trent jr. going to the free-line for four shots – he was defeated by a three-point effort, and the Hornets were technically judged – the Raptors were back with 21, their biggest lead of the game. Toronto took the fourth lead 105-86.
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A dunk by Kelly Oubre Jr., early in the fourth cut the difference to nine points, but it was as close as the visitors would come, and when Anunoby hit a three-pointer with 3:21 left, it had the Raptors put back. increased by 20 points. Coach Nick Nurse then emptied his bench.
Trent jr. and Siakam combined for 24 points in the first quarter, and a Banton three-pointer clinched a 19-3 Raptors run that left them late in the frame with 18 points. Toronto led 39-27 to start second.
Flynn, who is rarely used, who played with the team’s G League-affiliated Raptors 905 the night before, scored nine points in the second quarter and Toronto went 76-61 at halftime.
The Raptors face some former star teammates in the next two games. They are in Chicago on Wednesday to tackle DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls, and then meet Kyle Lowry and the Heat on Sunday in Miami.
They play Monday in Atlanta before returning home to host Miami and Chicago in a few games that would have big ticket items for Toronto fans. However, the Raptors continue to play in an empty Scotiabank Arena, due to provincial COVID-19 restrictions. The government recently announced that a half-capacity crowd will be allowed from February 21, and a full crowd on March 14.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 25, 2022.
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