Final Score | Raptors 905 119 – Cleveland Charge 102| Box Score
Two Ways: RJ Nembhard (Charge)
On Assignment: Dalano Banton (905), Isaac Bonga (905)
Inactive: David Johnson (905), Justin Champagnie (905), Obadiah Noel (905), Breein Tyree (905), Brandon Goodwin (Charge), Jawun Evans (Charge), Norvel Pelle (Charge), Tacko Fall (Charge)
With less than 48 hours between meetings, the Raptors 905 wasted no time in correcting their mistakes from the previous game to secure another win. While Isaac Bonga was a last minute scratch during the first matchup, it was Breein Tyree who would be absent during the rematch. Tyree’s 27 points were crucial in establishing the 905’s win on Thursday, but the team would have to regroup Saturday and switch strategies as Tyree was announced to have been suspended 3 games for violating league policies. Despite a lackluster performance from his starters, Head Coach Patrick Mutombo’s belief in them never wavered, and he chose to roll with the same starting lineup, knowing that they would not produce the same result two games in a row.
Bounce Back: A poor performance from Reggie Perry during Thursday’s game saw him relegated to the bench with just 13 minutes of play and 4 points. The Reggie that returned Saturday was the Reggie that Coach Mutombo believes so heavily in. Gone were the frustration fouls and discouragement in himself, replaced with a confident, level-headed Perry who crashed the boards defensively, allowing the Charge only 4 second-chance points. Perry’s expectations of himself are infinitely higher than the team and coaching staff’s expectations of him, and when reminded of this, Perry is most successful.
Fixed Mistakes: The 24 turnovers committed by the 905 were a sticking point for the team on Thursday, and were what almost cost them the game. 6 were committed by Dalano Banton, and the other 18 were shared equally amongst the team. Fast-forward to Saturday and the number of turnovers were cut in half. Of the 12 committed, Banton was only assigned one of them, showing his commitment to improving his team play and decision making.
No Lead Is Safe: The Raptors 905 lead by 32 points at one point, and that lead quickly decimated to single digits as the 905 allowed the Charge to outscore them 26 to 19 in the fourth quarter. It was almost kismet, as Coach Mutombo had preached pre-game the importance of maintaining, not just establishing a lead, saying that professional basketball is a game of runs, in which no lead is safe. The Raptors 905 regained their lead in the end, winning by 17 points.
The Raptors 905 will play the Westchester Knicks on Monday, January 24th at 7:30 p.m at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre.