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Raptors 905 opens season with a 132-105 win over Rio Grande Valley

5 mins read
Photo by Raptors 905

Final Score | Raptors 905 132, Rio Grande Valley Vipers 105 | Box Score

Two Ways: Jalen Harris (905), Brodric Thomas (Vipers)

Raptors 905 recorded the franchise’s largest margin of victory in a season opener tonight as eight players scored in double-digits in a 132-105 win over Rio Grande Valley.

Nik Stauskas scored a team-high 19 points and 7 rebounds while the 905’s front court duo of Alize Johnson and Henry Ellenson added 16 apiece.

Kevin Porter Jr. scored a game-high 25 points for the Vipers, and Ray Spalding added 21 points and 12 rebounds.

The 905 kicked off their “G League Bubble” season with a flurry of 3-pointers from Stauskas, Jalen Harris, and Malachi Flynn, scoring 15 points in less than 3 minutes into the game. Within the following possessions, Harris and Stauskas would combine for 16 points before the Vipers called a timeout with 7:09 left in the quarter. The 905 would go on to score 7 of 13 from downtown and close out the opening frame with a 42-31 lead (yes, that was just one quarter).

Matt Mooney, the 6-foot-2 undrafted guard from Texas Tech (2019), proved to also have the hot hand in the first half, knocking down his fourth triple in four attempts in the second quarter to give the 905 its first 20-point lead. Mooney would go on to finish the game with 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting off of the bench. Despite Flynn’s struggles to convert in the 2nd quarter (0-6), the 905 closed the first half with a 74-56 lead, with the team shooting 52% from the field and 50% from the 3-point line.

The 905 opened up the 3rd quarter on a mini 5-0 run, prompting the Vipers to call another quick timeout. Flynn broke out of his cold streak by draining a 26-foot 3-pointer to balloon the score to 86-59 with 8:47 remaining in the quarter. A free throw by Ellenson nearing the end of the third gave the team a 31-point advantage, its largest lead of the game.

Johnson and Ellenson were one of the handful of intriguing bright spots for the 905, combining for 32 points on 12 of 17 shooting from the field and 4 of 7 3-pointers. Johnson would go on to notch a double-double with 16 and 13, a stat line he’s been accustomed to throughout his college (Missouri State) and G League (Fort Wayne Mad Ants) career.

Raptors 905 may have had a lot of hot hands to kick off their season, but every quarter seemed to have been a showcase for a different player and the range of offensive prowess that the team has developed, preparing fans for what could be a fun season ahead. The team will be set to take on the Erie BayHawks in an 11am tip-off on Friday February 12th.

Notes:

  • 905 Two-Way notes:
    • Jalen Harris has only played for a total of 4:22 for the parent club Raptors, but looked comfortable right off the bat for the 905 in a starting role. The 6-foot-5 guard knocked down a couple of corner 3-pointers within the opening minutes and finished the game with 14 points, 4 assists and 3 steals in 19 minutes.
  • 905 Assignment notes:
    • Malachi Flynn finished the game with 12 points, 5 assists, and three rebounds in 28 minutes. Despite Flynn’s struggles to convert from the field tonight (4-16), he looked confident scoring off of his pick-and-rolls – hitting a step-back 3-pointer in the first quarter and then another pull-up triple off the switch in the third. On one ISO drive down the lane, he also hit a cutting Johnson in the second half for a highlight-reel worthy dunk. With the strong offensive weapons and system that the team showed tonight, it’s an encouraging sign for how well Flynn can develop and perform during his time in the G League.
  • Vipers Two-Way notes:
    • Brodric Thomas scored 15 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes tonight for the Vipers. The 6-foot-5 guard from Truman State University (D-2) went undrafted in 2020 but signed with the Houston, where his contracted was converted to a two-way at the end of the Rockets’ training camp.