The Toronto Raptors made the many of the all-star break with out dropping any of their momentum.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto’s solely all-star this season, scored 26 factors to assist the Raptors fend off the New Orleans Pelicans 115-110 on Thursday as each groups returned from the break. It was Toronto’s sixth win in seven video games because the Raptors claw their method again into the NBA Eastern Conference’s post-season image.
“We want these wins with a purpose to attempt to make this deep playoff push,” stated Scottie Barnes, who completed with 18 factors. “So each sport is essential to us.
“We’ve simply obtained to maintain making an attempt to win and play exhausting each time we step on the ground.”
Jakob Poeltl had a double-double with 21 factors and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Raptors (29-31). Poeltl was traded to Toronto from San Antonio forward of the NBA’s commerce deadline on Feb. 9.
He stated he wanted the all-star break to relaxation and regroup after his transfer again to the Raptors, the place he began his profession in 2016.
WATCH | Siakam’s 26 factors, Boucher’s wonder-dunk punctuate Raps win:
Siakam’s 26 factors, Boucher’s monster dunk powers Raptors previous Pelicans
“It’s a bizarre expertise getting traded and probably not having time to get your life located, since you’re simply beginning with basketball instantly,” stated Poeltl. “But from a basketball viewpoint, it has been nice.
“First sport was just a little bit like getting thrown within the deep finish however then each sport I really feel like I’m getting an increasing number of comfy.”
O.G. Anuonby scored 12 in his return to the Raptors lineup after a nine-game absence. He had injured his left wrist in a nasty fall in opposition to Golden State on Jan. 27. Gary Trent Jr., who returned after lacking two video games with a calf pressure, began at guard and scored 18.
“We love O.G. His presence is plain on the ground,” stated Barnes. “Gary’s a tricky shotmaker. … We want him for positive.”
Brandon Ingram led New Orleans (30-30) with 36 factors. Centre Jonas Valanciunas, who additionally started his NBA profession in Toronto, had a double-double for the Pelicans with 12 factors and 12 rebounds.
Siakam sank his second of two free throws because the half expired to provide the Raptors a 54-45 lead at intermission. It was his solely level of the second quarter, for a complete of seven, as Barnes, Poeltl, Trent and Anunoby took over Toronto’s offence.
Barnes and Trent had eight factors apiece within the quarter, Poeltl added seven, and Anunoby 5.
The Raptors led by as many as 15 within the third, with Siakam discovering his scoring contact. He had 17 factors within the quarter.
Toronto ahead Chris Boucher, from Montreal, introduced the sold-out Scotiabank Arena crowd of 19,800 to its toes with a one-handed jam on a breakaway with 5.5 seconds left within the body.
“That’s Chris, proper? I imply, he is simply he’ll make some spectacular performs,” stated Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. “He’s going to do them at each ends. He makes one thing occur.
C.J. McCollum drilled an 18-foot jumper to chop Toronto’s result in eight with 8:30 left to play because the Pelicans mounted a late comeback.
Siakam answered with a layup, earlier than Ingram hit a three-pointer, forcing a Raptors’ day out with 6:49 on the clock.
Valanciunas made a free throw when play resumed to make it 100-94. After a New Orleans turnover, Poeltl reeled off 5 factors for an 11-point lead.
After a Pelicans’ day out, Poeltl continued to dominate the paint, scoring one other jumper from up shut after which blocking Herbert Jones on the different finish. McCollum replied with a floating soar shot.
Anunoby stole an Ingram go with 2:40 left to play, getting a rousing ovation for his dunk and giving the Raptors a 111-101 lead. He had two steals on the night time and his 2.1 steals per sport led the NBA heading into Thursday’s sport.
Ingram made a pair of free throws and a three-pointer to chop that result in simply 5 factors. He then hit a seven-foot shot to make it 111-108 with 1:13 to go.
He fouled Poeltl on the following possession, nonetheless, with the Raptors centre making a free throw.
Ingram made up for that with a jumper to slender Toronto’s result in 112-110 with 33.1 seconds left. But Trent drilled a three-pointer 20 seconds later for Toronto and the ultimate rating of the sport.