Raptors 905 110, Wisconsin Herd 108 | Box Score
Two-ways: Jordan Loyd (905), Bonzie Colson (Herd)
The Raptors 905 began the backstretch of their regular season with a chippy 110-108 victory against the Wisconsin Herd on Wednesday night at Paramount Fine Foods Centre. The 905 fielded their 20th different lineup of the season and are now in touching distance of first place in the Eastern Conference.
Head Coach Jama Mahlalela was clear about what he wanted to see from his squad when they returned to the floor after a weeklong layoff.
“I think it’s about ‘can we just compete’, right from the opening jump, for 48 minutes. What’s our level of competition,” he said.
The 905, led by the returning Jordan Loyd, heard the message loud and clear. The team ran the visitors off the court to open an early 18-8 lead, before fans could even make it to their seats.
Loyd finished the game with 24 points, five rebounds, and four assists, which included several highlight reel moments.
“His point guard skills have really, really developed,” Mahlalela said of Loyd. “He made a few passes tonight that were just really special. His ability to find people and just his control and composure with the ball, in pick-and-roll, the game slows down, he can find openings.”
Despite a quick start, the Herd clawed their way back to a 57-60 lead by halftime. Thirty of the Herd’s first half points came within the paint as they repeatedly attacked the basket.
After shooting 29.4 per cent from three in the first half, the 905 rediscovered their outside shot which spearheaded a 36-20 third quarter. Duane Notice and Derek Cooke Jr. feasted on the glass to re-establish a 93-80 lead. The duo energized the team, Cooke Jr. pulling down 19 rebounds and Notice posting a team-high +9 on the night.
A deep three from the Herd in the dying moments offered a brief scare, but the 905 hung on to claim the win. The 905 will now host ‘DeGrassi night’ on Saturday as the Long Island Nets come to town.
- Assignment notes
- Jordan Loyd did not skip a beat rejoining the squad. He controlled proceedings early, collapsing the defense and finding open shooters at will. As the 905 bench stuttered, Loyd re-entered and assumed the scoring load. By the end of the first quarter he had already amassed 9 points to go along with a pair of assists and rebounds.
- The game looks to have slowed down for Loyd. He played smoothly as the lead ball handler and picked his spots with veteran savvy. There was a moxy about his performance on the offensive end. His defensive intensity waned in spots, however he admitted fatigue was a factor after nearly a month removed from a full game run.
- Other 905 player notes
- Jordan Howard took off in the second half, finishing the game with 26 points and five assists. His outside shooting partnered well with Loyd as the point guard. That guy is not scared to pull the trigger from deep.
- Derek Cooke Jr. continues to be a great pick-up for the 905. The forward brings big man intangibles, but also demonstrates surprising touch as an assist man out of the pick-and-roll.
- The G-League trade deadline closes Mar. 1st, therefore this looks to be the roster Mahlalela will be rolling with heading towards the playoffs.
- Incredibly exciting admin note
- The 905 play again at home on Saturday. Raptors Republic readers can get a discount on tickets using the code REPUBLIC905. Come out and celebrate ‘DeGrassi night’!