The Toronto Raptors traveled to Charlotte to face off against the Hornets and it went as smoothly as you could think. Fred VanVleet set a franchise record in single game assists with 20, Pascal Siakam bludgeoned the young hornets offensively, OG continued to shine offensively as well, this game had it all.
Charlotte surprisingly stuck around in this game for most of the afternoon. They were never quite able to get the lead but anytime Toronto seemed to make the lead unreachable, Charlotte would just fire back with quick offensive flurries. The young bigs in Charlotte really ran rampant during the game, namely, Kai Jones and Mark Williams, those two were tenacious on the glass along with repeatedly leaking out in transition for easy buckets. Kai Jones had so many insanely timed blocks as well.
The way Fred VanVleet orchestrated this game was really magnificent, he was in constant motion with the ball, making quick decisions, hitting guys with interior passes, making cross-court reads, just making every read imaginable. Charlotte really had no answer for him as a ball handler and he got to wherever he wanted on the floor in order to distribute the rock like this. Fred also had some great plays on the defensive end, using those strong hands to dig on drives and poke the ball free to get the team going into transition, he really impacted the game so much.
Pascal Siakam had 36 points in the afternoon and it largely came through two point field goals as the Hornets constantly failed to locate him on cuts, and when he did meet some resistance he just rose up for a mid range jumper. This was a really great off ball game for Siakam, he was the cutter on curl actions where Jakob was the trigger man, he timed his cuts well when Fred VanVleet was driving, just a great all around game from Siakam.
OG Anunoby continued his offensive dominance with an extremely efficient 23 point game where he sank five of his six three point attempts. OG was really hurting Charlotte from the left corner and maximizing his value as a spacer.
Jakob Poetl also had a really nice game where he was the ideal roll man yet again and reaped the rewards of the playmaking of those around him. Many times he found himself in position for easy push shots or dunks after lay down passes from Siakam and VanVleet.
All in all this was a sweat free game, Toronto lead the entire way, despite a career high night from former Raptor Svi Mykhailiuk where he scored 26 points with five threes made. Toronto fought off every comeback attempt with some great defense, especially down the stretch, and by forcing many turnovers. This was an important win because it clinched the play-in for Toronto, so no matter what happens now they will be fighting for a playoff spot during the play-in tournament. Their next game is against the Boston Celtics so it’s nice to get an easy win before facing off against one of the top teams in the eastern conference.
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