Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Rockets 105, Raptors 108

Houston 105 Final
Box Score
108 Toronto

S. Ibaka24 MIN, 11 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-10 FG, 1-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-

Not a huge game from Serge, but he was solid, which is what he needed to be. Worked hard on the glass, and hit enough shots to keep the offense going. Didn’t feel like he forced his game.

N. Powell31 MIN, 2 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -7 +/-

It’s hard to fault him too much for this one, aside from that the Raptors could’ve used him hitting a few more shots at points during the game. Harden is a brutal matchup for a lot of guys in the NBA, and he roasted Norm, but this probably shouldn’t be Norm’s spot in the playoffs, it should be OG’s who wasn’t available tonight.

J. Valanciunas28 MIN, 14 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 5-8 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 7 +/-

What a great game from Jonas. The stats might not jump out at you, but he worked so hard defensively and controlled the rebounds, while hitting his shots. Came through with some incredibly clutch defensive possessions late to help seal the game, and hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to keep the lead at three going to the final shot for Houston.

K. Lowry33 MIN, 30 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 10-14 FG, 7-9 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -3 +/-

KLOE lives. Came out firing in this one, and just kept going as the game went on. Took a charge, hit shot after shot to establish and then keep the lead, and was as great as the team needed to beat one of the best teams in the league. His best game of the year.

D. DeRozan37 MIN, 23 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 8-19 FG, 3-7 3FG, 4-6 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 6 +/-

DeMar’s offense was good tonight, he held up his end of the bargain at that end of the floor as always, even if he wasn’t as spectacular as he was against Detroit, but it’s his defense I want to talk about. He worked every possession, all night, and came up with some of the biggest defensive possessions of the night. This is what the Raptors needs from him to be on that next level, more than the spectacular offense, and it’s what he brought to this game.

F. VanVleet23 MIN, 11 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 5-13 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-

Fred didn’t have his usual backcourt partner, once again, and at times you could feel the absence of Delon Wright, but what a game from him. Made Chris Paul work for absolutely everything he got when Fred was out there, controlled the offense and helped hold the Raptors lead.

J. Poeltl19 MIN, 2 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

He’s a defensive savant. You can’t ask more from a big man in terms of guarding Chris Paul and James Harden than what Jak gave, even when those guys scored against him, and he shut down a few one-on-one possessions against some of the best isolation guards in the league tonight.

C. Miles18 MIN, 6 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 2-7 FG, 2-7 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

If you evaluate CJ by his scoring, it was a bad night, but the ones he did hit were big and definitely helped in this one.

P. Siakam16 MIN, 2 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-

Not used to seeing the score sheet this empty for Pascal, but he did make an impact by working hard on defense, and his presence on the boards was important for the bench.

M. Miller10 MIN, 7 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-3 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-

Grading on a curve a little here, and Miller doesn’t play if Delon and OG aren’t hurt, but when your 13th man can come in to play important minutes during a game against one of the best teams in the league and hit all his shots, that’s definitely not a bad thing. He showed poise in a tough spot.

Dwane Casey

Casey had his team ready to play, and kept them there. The Rockets tried to make runs throughout this game, but every time it felt like the Raptors were there to punch back, and keep the game just out of reach. Has been getting what he needs from his team all year, and certainly deserves to be in the conversation for the Coach of the Year award this season.

Things We Saw

  1. James Harden is incredible. He almost pulled this game back for Houston during the second half, and was absolutely unstoppable. Have to wonder if OG could’ve made a difference there, but the Raptors managed to get the win despite Harden’s huge game.
  2. Why wasn’t this game on national television? It feels like the networks really missed out on a chance to get some good ratings in this one, because this was one of the games of the year, and a lot of people just didn’t see it.
  3. The Raptors defense was incredible, despite Houston’s 110.6 offensive rating on the night. Houston hit some shots that were really tough and they are one of those teams that will do that, but they certainly didn’t score many tonight that were easy.
  4. What a game, once again. Might’ve been the game of the year, and if this was a Finals preview, it’ll be a fun series.
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