Photo by MattAzevedo.com
Raptors 905 (16-7) def. Maine Red Claws (15-9); 114-100 | Box Score
Assignees: Bruno Caboclo (905)
The Raptors 905 set the tone early with their defence, and rode a steady wave of scoring from the entire rotation to coast to a wire-to-wire 110-94 victory, their fourth straight, over the Maine Red Claws in Portland.
They forced 21 turnovers while coughing it up only five times themselves, and limited the Red Claws to 4-of-22 shooting in a first quarter that included 13 attempts (three made) from beyond the arc for them. The 905 defence was active and moving along a string, protecting the middle to perfection. While the perimeter players rotated seamlessly, Edy Tavares made his presence felt with Red Claws managing just two points in the paint in the opening quarter.
The 4:21 mark in the first quarter brought up one of the more unusual sequences you’ll see. CJ Leslie banked (yes, you read that right, BANKED) in a free throw with 4:21 to go in the first, Yanick Moreira grabbed the offensive rebound, before passing out to Brady Heslip to knock down a three. Not the type of four-point play you see everyday.
The poor shooting didn’t shake the Red Claws confidence in any way though, as they hit three triples in the first three minutes of the second quarter to cut the 905 lead to one.
With 3:42 to go in the first half and the 905 leading 37-34, Bruno Caboclo showed some really positive signs of toughness after grabbing an offensive board. Abdel Nader got his hands on the ball to force a jump ball, and then got forceful in trying to wrestle the ball away from the young Brazilian. Bruno didn’t back down whatsoever, and proceeded to get a nice poke, before forcing a turnover when Nader tried to beat him off the dribble. and then hit a corner three when the 905 came back down the floor.
Bruno also had a couple of possessions where he passed up his own good luck at a three for great looks. The little things are coming along nicely for him, and hopefully doing more of the little things will build his confidence to make more of the plays that really catch everyone’s attention.
The 905 had 10 different scorers in the first half, and it would have been all 11 that checked in but for Yanick Moreira going 0-for-4.
The Red Claws finished the second quarter with six three-point makes out of 11 attempts to stay within striking distance at 48-43. Brady Heslip decided to counter that with his own marksmanship, catching fire midway through the third quarter to knock down a couple of threes to go along with a floater that helped the 905 stretch their lead to 63-55. This was followed by a stretch where the 905 bent but did not break, as timely buckets from Axel Toupane and E.J. Singler kept stretching the lead. Toupane made some really nice passes throughout the game, none prettier than a perfect interior bounce pass to Singler on a backdoor cut late in the fourth.
The game was quite straightforward in the fourth, with the Red Claws never getting any closer than six. Coach Stackhouse has got his team rolling again, and this is a credit to him and his coaching staff after the apparent wall the team hit a couple of weeks ago.
- The 905 are now a perfect 8-0 on the road, but just 8-7 at home. Your guess is as good as mine as to why the 9ine isn’t bringing them more good fortune.
- The bench strength came through once again with 54 points, Uthoff continuing his solid streak with 11.
- The 905 get almost an entire week off now before returning to action in Mississauga on January 18th against the Grand Rapids Drive at 12:30pm EST.
- January 18th also marks the beginning of the D-League Showcase, during which the Hershey Centre will play host to 22 games in five days.
- After the Showcase, the 905 will play nine more games at home, so if you want to check them out, you can go to this link and use the promo code REPUBLIC905, as the 905 are hooking RR readers up with discounted tickets (including the two Air Canada Centre game on Monday, March 13th).
- Totally unrelated, but the Long Island Nets beat the Greensboro Swarm 138-133 and Christian Wood dropped 45 points, 15 rebounds, and eight blocks. Crazy line!