|J. Johnson27 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-5 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -1 +/-Made a decent return to the lineup; mixed it up with a couple of threes, dished out 4 assists, and didn’t really take any bad shots. Tonight was pretty much all we can expect out of James Johnson as a starter, and on most nights, it’s good enough. DeMarre awaits.|
|L. Scola20 MIN | 9-13 FG | 2-4 3FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +8 +/-Efficient night, and most importantly, got all of his points in the flow of the offense. With the strong first quarter, was plus-8 for the game. I’d like to see this Luis 2 games out every 3, or even 1 out of every 2, for the Raptors who continue to search for answers at the power forward spot.|
|J. Valanciunas28 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -5 +/-Foul trouble once again an issue for JV in the first quarter, cutting into his first half minutes. When he was on the court, he shot efficiently, grabbed 10 rebounds, and at least contained Howard to a reasonable extent, who we knew would be a tough match-up coming in.|
|K. Lowry38 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-7 3FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | -1 +/-A quiet game in the box score by his standards, but hit timely shots. It just wasn’t enough for the Raptors who often need 20+ from atleast one of Lowry or DeRozan to get a victory.|
|D. DeRozan34 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-1 3FG | 11-14 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 19 PTS | -5 +/-Much like the flu-game against Cleveland at home last week, DeMar was just not feeling it in the first half. Trevor Ariza’s length and defensive adeptness didn’t really help, either. But in typical DeRozan-like fashion, DeMar gave Harden a taste of his own medicine with 14 free throw attempts, and 11 makes. And in the second half, while DeMar had some flashes of brilliance, poor shooting down the stretch, including a couple of misses late in the fourth, sealed the Raptors fate.|
|P. Patterson27 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-6 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -11 +/-A decent night from the field overall, but if Patman isn’t hitting 3’s, he’s just not as effective for us as we know we he can be. Hit a clutch shot in the fourth, but 2-6 from 3 just isn’t good enough for Patterson. He was -11.|
|T. Ross16 MIN | 3-10 FG | 1-5 3FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +0 +/-Had a nifty dunk on a second-quarter fast break, but offered nearly nothing else. The Terrence Ross mystery continues to offer Raptor fans peaks and troughs that drive us nuts. Shooting and defense on Harden were both suspect.|
|B. Biyombo20 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +0 +/-Not much to offer from an offensive perspective, but played with his usual energy. Bismack needs to be more active on the pick and roll, especially with Cory Joseph in the game.|
|C. Joseph25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-4 3FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -15 +/-In 25 minutes of action, Cory made an impact with his 9 points and 5 boards, but the Raps were -15 with Joseph on the floor. Efficient from the field, but went 1-4 from 3, and had an untimely turnover. Stellar defense from Patrick Beverley down the stretch made life difficult for the Pickering product.|
|N. Powell3 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +5 +/-Played his role. Norm Powell can ball, there’s no question about that. It’s going to be a question of continuing to earn minutes in the NBA, with each game building trust in his coaches. Just keep chipping into the rotation until DeMarre gets back.|
Early foul trouble for DeMar and JV meant earlier bench minutes, and some overall balance in minutes played. But the lack of three-point defense, and lack of being able to contain Harden and Howard, were the ultimate downfalls in the gameplan. The halftime pep talk could’ve probably been better too.
FIVE THINGS WE SAW
- Scola back: It was good to see the Argentinian get back to some of his first-quarter dominance we saw earlier in the season in the odd home games.
- Tale of two halves: After leading for virtually the entire first half, and up 10 at halftime, the Raptors were outscored in each of the final two frames, by 16 points overall. Timely Rockets threes, and energetic defense fuelled a second-half run sparked by James Harden’s 40 points.
- Defense (or lack thereof): The Rockets are a top-ten offense in the league with 104 points per 100 possessions, and after holding the Rockets to under 44% from the field in the first half, the Rockets poured it on with 61 points in the second half,
- Home Court Streak Over: After winning 12 straight at home, tonight’s loss marks the end of a remarkable streak for the Raptors who have been virtually unstoppable in the 2016 calendar year thus far. Tough loss to swallow, but it’s on to the next one for the Raptors, who play their third home game in this seven-game homestand on Tuesday against the Nets.
Steph Harden. pic.twitter.com/ofeF2gjnFR
— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) March 7, 2016