None of Toronto’s starters scored in double figures as San Antonio’s starters outscored their counterparts 54-25.
The Raptors hung around and traded leads for the majority of the first half, but a 14-4 Spurs run to close the half left the Raps down seven at the break, and while that obviously isn’t an insurmountable hole by any stretch, it really did feel as though that bit of separation was all San Antonio needed.
While there was a huge discrepancy in trips to the free throw line with the Spurs getting there 29 times to the Raptors’ 12, it would be a disservice to the hosts to suggest they did not earn this one.
This was a fairly ugly game for the better part of two and a half quarters, but in the second half the Spurs strung some stops together and got out in transition. The increased pace opened up San Antonio’s offense and created the separation needed to keep the Raptors at bay.
Gregg Popovich warned the media scrum before his team’s 100-80 win that this Toronto team was one that gave the Spurs problems; that this was a little bit like San Antonio’s game against Miami with reversed roles. The Raptors were without Andrea Bargnani, Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas, and for at least one half Pop was right. Well, nearly a half.
Jose Calderon is portrayed as this selfless individual who is the ultimate team player and may as well be the basketball version of Mother Teresa. Is that taking it too far? Perhaps, but for the people that do love him, he is considered, to steal a term from wrestling, the ultimate babyface (which for non-wrestling fans, simply means the good guy in a WWE wrestling match).
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