Raptors 905 (20-7) def. Delaware 87ers (15-11); 97-90 | Box Score
Assignees: Delon Wright, Bruno Caboclo (905), None (87ers)
The new ‘Big Three’ of the 905; Delon Wright, Jared Sullinger, and Bruno Caboclo combined for 47 points and 25 rebounds to lead the Raptors 905 to a comfortable victory over the Delaware 87ers.
There wasn’t quite the same level of ball movement as viewers have become accustomed to over the course of what is now a nine-game winning streak, but that was to be expected once Jared Sullinger was assigned to the team. The objectives of the Raptors’ primary free-agent acquisition has to take precedence over winning, which was an added bonus tonight.
The purpose of playing for the 905 tonight was about working his way back into game shape, and so in that regard, tonight was a step in the right direction. Early on, The 87ers struggled to put a body on him inside, and were quite content to let him test his outside stroke. Sullinger started the game 1-for-5 for three points, part of a sluggish first quarter for the 905 that saw them shoot just 5-of-22 from the field, and just one of their seven three-point attempts to finish the quarter with a six-point deficit.
Russ Smith inflicted the most pain on the 905 in the quarter, as the former Louisville guard scored nine points, collected three dimes, and two steals; including one of an E.J. Singler inbound. He finished the game with 17 points and 12 assists.
The going got tough for Delaware after that, as the 905 started the second quarter on a 13-0 run to take control of the contest. After a quiet night yesterday, Axel Toupane looked smooth from the start with seven of his 16 points early on a perfect 3-for-3. Brady Heslip made a pair of threes, and finished the game with seven. He now has 96 triples in 28 games played to lead the D-League in makes, a couple ahead of Scott Wood of the Santa Cruz Warriors. Yeah, it had to be a Warrior.
With 2:20 to go in the second quarter, Delon Wright provided the highlight of the game with a wicked crossover and dunk in transition.
— Raptors 905 (@Raptors905) January 29, 2017
About a minute later, he pulled another great move off a pick by Sullinger; hesitating and spinning of Sullinger’s man and away from the basket before laying the ball in off the glass. He finished the half with 10 points and a couple of assists to help the Mississauga squad outscore the 87ers 35-20 in the second quarter and take a 51-42 lead.
Bruno Caboclo also had a strong half, despite getting rid of his cornrows (a loss for us all). He rotated well on defence and picked his spots on the offensive end. He had a couple of nice one-dribble pull-ups before banking in a three, and mixed in three trips to the line.
Sullinger was visibly frustrated with himself as he finished the half shooting just 2-of-12, and 0-of-4 from three. On a positive note, he and Yanick Moreira combined for 20 boards to help the 905 control the glass.
Despite the frustration, it was good to see Sullinger stay true to his objectives and keep shooting. He knocked down both his attempts from beyond the arc to start the third quarter, and it’s amazing how quickly a player can regain confidence. After knocking down the first one, you could see he was thinking shoot the second he caught the ball the next time around. As the ball swished through the net, he was already back in his own half getting set for some defence.
The third quarter didn’t present any issues for the 905, but a 15-7 run by the 87ers cut the 905 lead to just one with about five minutes remaining. Smith led the comeback for them, and carved up the home defence with some moves reminiscent of Reggie Jackson. Shawn Long was quietly a monster for Delaware, finishing with 20 points and 18 rebounds.
Sullinger and Bruno weren’t going to be denied on this night though. Sully scored five points in the post late, before Bruno sealed the victory with a reverse one-handed dunk, plus the foul. That pushed the lead back up to nine, and sealed the victory with a couple of minutes to play.
The 905 will know that they can’t win many games shooting just 35% from the field, a mark that was overshadowed by 40 free-throw attempts and a 60-48 edge on the glass. They’ll also believe this was more a result of having to adjust to Sullinger as part of the rotation. The former Ohio State Buckeye should be recalled to the parent club tomorrow. Hopefully, it doesn’t take them out of the great flow they’ve had.
They’ll have a couple of days off, before returning to action on Tuesday.
- Negus Webster-Chan picked up the start tonight after receiving a DNP-CD last night and finished with no points on 0-of-6 shooting. He did contribute five boards though.
- Both E.J. Singler and John Jordan are in the midst of really good stretches right now. Singler is contributing in a variety of ways and is showing more confidence in his shot. Jordan looks more decisive, and is now shooting 52.9% from deep on the season.
- Tavares surprisingly led the team with 12 trips to the line, as the 87ers struggled to keep up with any of the 905 bigs. The trio of Sullinger, Tavares, and Moreira combined for 35 boards in the game.
- CJ Leslie only saw two minutes of floor time tonight, after contributing really well off the bench last night.
- The 905 will now travel to Ohio to take on the Canton Charge on Tuesday, January 31st. Tip-off is at 7:00p.m. EST.