Raptors 905 113, Westchester Knicks 110 | Box Score
Assignees: Malachi Richardson (905)
Two-ways: Jordan Loyd (905)
An outburst of emotion poured out of Malachi Richardson on Friday night as he completed a 3-point play with 4:06 left in the fourth quarter to cut a 19-point Raptors 905 deficit to 102-101, a part of massive second half run by the 905 that fell short as the team suffered their second consecutive loss.
Zak Irvin led the Knicks with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while John Jenkins added 20 points along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Six players scored in double-digits for Westchester as they improve to 16-8 on the season, surpassing the 905 in the eastern conference standings.
Jordan Loyd scored a game-high 34 points along with 10 assists, and Malachi Richardson poured in 29 points, including four 3-pointers, in his second game in a row with the 905.
Without Chris Boucher in the lineup tonight, the Knicks looked to test the 905 on every possession by driving the ball. Khadeem Lattin and MiKyle McIntosh picked up three fouls by the start of the second quarter, allowing Westchester to exploit the post even more, outscoring the 905 54-46 in the paint.
“I’ve said this for a few days now, I think we really need to improve our gaps,” coach Jama Mahlalela said after the game. “We need to stop dribble-penetration with our gaps before he even gets to the rim. So Chris or no Chris, we got to have a front-line of defence that’s better than what it has been, and that’s where we need to put our point of emphasis.”
With 2:20 left in the first half, Mahlalela received a technical foul after the 905 felt calls against Richardson and Loyd were missed, coupled with questionable calls in favour of Westchester on the other end. The Knicks wrapped up the half with a 66-47 advantage, their largest lead of the game.
The 905’s second half run began with Richardson’s aggression coming out of the locker room, with a succession of quality possessions, completing a 3-point play, a hockey assist leading to a Deng Adel 3-pointer, and then pulling up from distance himself to spark a mini 9-5 run. Richardson was only 2 of 6 from the field in the first half.
“I was more aggressive,” Richardson said after the game. “I wanted to make sure we tried to get guys like Deng and Duane going… Just try to pick my spots, but I wanted to be more assertive and more aggressive in the second half.”
Fuelling the comeback, Loyd and Richardson led the 905 as they shot 6 of 11 from downtown in the third quarter after going 1 of 9 from beyond the arc in the first half. A Richardson dunk with 3:05 left in the quarter cut the lead to 87-80, the closest the 905 would get at that point since the 10:50 mark in the second quarter.
The 905 called a timeout with 15.2 seconds left in the game down 113-110, and Richardson attempted a side-step 3-pointer that rimmed in and out, leaving a large Friday night Mississauga crowd with heartbreak.
- Two-Way 905 Player Notes
- Chris Boucher was not with the 905 tonight as he played in the Raptors/Spurs matchup yesterday. In the seven games that Boucher has played for the parent club since Jonas Valanciunas’s injury, Boucher has been averaging 5.5 minutes per game, scoring 3.1 points, 1.4 blocks, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.9 3-pointers per game at a 54.5% rate.
- Jordan Loyd returned to the lineup tonight after missing one game with a sprain ankle suffered on December 27th against Lakeland Magic. Loyd didn’t miss a beat as he scored his 34 points shooting 7 of 16 from the field, and scored 17 of 18 from the free throw line.
- Assignment 905 Player Notes
- Malachi Richardson played in his second consecutive game tonight with the 905. He was much more aggressive in the second half and was the best I’ve seen him play in terms of his aggression and assertiveness on both ends of the floor. Richardson had two 3-point attempts in the last minute that was close, including one where he turned to celebrate as it went half-way down before popping out. Prior to game, Mahlalela said the Raptors and 905 coaching staff were looking for Richardson to work on catch-and-shoot scenarios among other areas, and locking in on defence and shot-contesting at a better level.
- Richardson has been averaging 23.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.5 steals in 34.6 minutes in his first four games with the 905 this season. He also came into tonight’s game leading the G League in 3-pointers attempted (11.0) and second in makes (5.0).
- Other 905 Player Notes
- Rodney Pryor (left ankle) is still day-to-day but Mahlalela says “he’s really close.”
- MiKyle McIntosh played in his fourth game with the 905 tonight and got his first start. McIntosh scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 17:46 of action. Mahlalela said after the game the start was situational, but McIntosh’s physicality and activity around the rim will continue to become a bigger asset for the coaching staff as the season progresses.
- Two-Way Knicks Player Notes
- Isaiah Hicks was out tonight for Westchester with a left hamstring sprain. Hicks has been averaging 16.4 points and 7.8 rebounds with Westchester this season and has yet to see NBA action with New York.
- Admin Note
- For future home games, you can use the code REPUBLIC905 to get a discount on tickets.