Sunday night looked like the Toronto Raptors were going to suffer the worse loss so far this season only to turn it around and record one the best comebacks in the history of the franchise. It was one that saw Kyle Lowry scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter alone to lead the Raptors to a 110-107 victory, that after being behind by 30 points.
The Toronto Raptors were in serious trouble after dropping 30 points in their battle with the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at the Scotiabank Arena, and the mood was bad knowing that immediately after the game, a flight to Indiana was waiting for them. While they could have easily accepted defeat, the Raptors hunkered down and not only came back to tie the game in the fourth quarter but take the lead and earn a victory. Commenting on the accomplishment, head coach Nick Nurse, who guided the team to their first NBA Championship trophy last season stated,
“We have always been a team that fights. In my time here, we hardly ever mail it in. It’s a good characteristic to have.”
Kyle Lowry stepped up his game scoring 20 of the 32 points he recorded last night in the fourth quarter, and that helps Toronto rally back. Speaking on the achievement, Lowry said,
“I think that was a one-off game, but you could see how hard we played, and that’s something you take from and you continue to build on. That’s the part of that game you take and say ‘Yeah, that’s a hard-playing team right there,’ no matter what, we were down whatever we were, it didn’t even feel like it, we just went out there and played.”
Lowry, an all-star point guard inside of several minutes of the final buzzer, added to his game totals eight rebounds and ten assists. That saw the near sold out crows break chanting Lowry’s name over and over. Nick Nurse, who watched from the sidelines spoke about Lowry post-game stating,
“He was unbelievable, right?” and he really didn’t have that good a game going until that point, too. Then he started firing and making and driving and and-one-ing — he was doing it all. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it.”
Chris Boucher, who hails from Montreal has a career-high night with 21 points. That included a massive dunk in the final few seconds of the game. Also contributing and having a big night was Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who scored18 points on a night that was without Norman Powell due to a shoulder injury, Pascal Siakam with a groin injury and Marc Gasol with a hamstring injury. Jalen Brunson scored 21 points for Dallas, who as a team were also without Luka Doncic. Dwight Powell, who is a native of Toronto, scored 17 points.
The previous largest comeback to the Raptors was in 2010 when they eliminated a deficit of 25 points to overcome the Detroit Pistons 120-116. Last night’s comeback was also the largest in the NBA since 2009 when the Kings erased a 35 point deficit in a game against the Bulls. The Mav’s have been one the best in the NBA on the road this season and went into last night’s game with an 11-2 record. While Toronto managed to take a 12 point lead early in the game, it quickly was lost and saw Toronto trailing by 30 points in the third quarter.
Going into the fourth quarter down by 23 points, Toronto came to life, and bit by bit reduced the deficit with Lowry scoring several three-pointers to bring the club to within 10 points. Speaking on the final push, Chris Boucher stated,
“All(Lowry said was ‘keep pushing. He led us the right way, put us in great spots. Kyle does that every time. Even when people don’t see it. Kyle’s a great leader.”
The heroics by Lowry continued in what saw the star forward driving forward and dropping a nice layup that put the Raptors within two points, and for punters favouring the NBA, leading sportsbook Bet365 is the perfect choice for NBA action over the holiday season and is offering a generous $200 sign-up bonus when transacting your first deposit with the bookmaker. With 1:18 left in the fourth, Toronto suddenly found themselves up by four points, and it was one the Mav’s could not overcome even though they manage to gain a one point advantage after a free throw. However, with less than 20 seconds remaining, Lowry handed off the ball to Boucher who slammed dunked and put Toronto back on top. Commenting, Boucher said,
“I’m surprised Lowry saw me. “I was just running for the offensive rebound and he saw me coming through. I missed a couple of layups today so I made sure I was going to hit that one and finish strong.”
The loss hit hard with Dall Mavericks head coach, Rick Carlisle, who post-game accepted responsibility for the loss stating,
“Very disappointing loss. We got to a point where we lost our aggression. When you get hit with that kind of force, you’ve got to respond with equal or greater force, and we just didn’t do it soon enough.”
Dallas’s Tim Hardaway Jr., who has a 16 points night, said the loss was a lesson to be learned for Dallas adding,
“They were just taking it to us. Before you knew it, they cut the lead to 10 and then cut the lead to five. It shows that whenever you’re up that much, you can’t let up, you can’t back down from the competition, you can’t ease yourself into the win because the game isn’t even over yet.”
The Toronto Raptors will now head to Indianapolis on Monday to play the Pacers before returning to Toronto to welcome the Boston Celtics on Christmas day.