The Raptors poor performance against the Clippers this past Sunday seems to have been shaken off as they faced the Denver Nuggets and were victorious 114-110. The win gave Toronto the push they needed to get refocused towards earning their playoff spot in what, so far, has been a stellar year for the team that is sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Toronto’s Fred VanVleet added 15 points to the night, and Pascal Siakam and Jakub Poeltl both scored 12. The Raptors came on strong in the 4th quarter to secure the win over the Nuggets.
Jakub Poeltl, who saw twelve of his games points during the 4th quarter commented saying,
“It’s mainly just all of us boosting each other. It’s like ‘Don’t forget, we know we’re better than that. We’re better than we played in that game against the Clippers.’ so it’s really all about building confidence in each other.”
Last night’s game saw seven different Raptors scoring double point nights. This included Jonas Valanciunas and DeMar DeRozan both scoring 15 points; Serge Ibaka scored 13 and Lowry had 11 for the night.
Toronto, who are only one win from setting a new seasonal win record, is current 55 and 20 for the season and was playing the final game of the regular season against an opponent from the Western Conference opponent.
During an interview after the game, VanVleet stated,
“It’s really simple. Stay with it, keep working, just be better. We dropped a couple in the last couple games. We just wanted to get back out there and have fun. It was just one of those signature games where we just go out there and kind of close the game out.”
The Nuggets Nikola Jokic scored 29 points last night; Jamal Murray scored 15 and Paul Millsap got 20. The Nuggets were sitting in ninth spot in the Western Conference last night and one position out of making the playoffs.
The game saw neither team leading by more than 6 points for three of the four quarters. Denver were sent packing in Philadelphia the previous night in a 123-104 loss, and that was not good for a team that was leading going into the fourth.
Toronto picked up the pace in the 4th quarter in what saw VanVleet netting a three-pointer and helping to give the Raptors a 103-96 lead.
Said Dwane Casey, coach of the Raptors,
“They had a great bounce back, the intensity they played with, it was a playoff atmosphere, a playoff game for both of us and I just liked the way they came in, especially in the second half. II thought they came in and really set the tone on how we were going to play in the fourth quarter.”
As for Denver, they fought back hard and brought the lead down to three with eleven seconds left in regulation time. However, Toronto held off the late quarter push. Michael Malone, coach of the Nuggets, said that he felt the Raptors bench were on point last night and are one of the better in the NBA, saying that the proved that last night.
Commenting on the Raptors, coach Michael Malone said,
“Give their guys credit, their bench was fantastic.They’re one of the better benches in the NBA and they showcased it again tonight.”
Toronto had recently come off a winning streak that saw the team win 11 in a row, but had have only won two of the previous five games. While they stumbled a little in the last five games, there is little doubt that the Raptors are considered one of the best teams in the NBA and bookmakers are setting odds in their favour to win most games and be contenders to go the distance in the playoffs. How things play out will be seen, but needless to say, the Raptors are on fire this year, and it the perfect time to take advantage of the many free bet offers to be had.